The month of August is designated as a time to celebrate “Wine on America’s Table.” This is a tradition upheld by the ten US chapters of Women for Winesense, and a time to reflect on the importance American wine plays in creating a congenial atmosphere with family and friends when consumed in moderation and with food.  But how did this tradition start and why is it important? 

The story begins in the late 1980’s when several female winemakers living in Napa were shocked when their young children came home from school one day and asked “Mommy, why do you make drugs?” After consulting the local school to find out that the topic of lecture that day was drugs and alcohol, these female winemakers decided to start an organization to educate Americans on how moderate consumption of wine can increase quality of life and to celebrate wine as part of the US agricultural heritage.  Thus Women for Winesense (WWS) was born in 1990. 

Part of the education is the month-long event called Wine on America’s Table.  It is an opportunity to sit down during the long, warm and relaxing month of August with family and friends, to eat good food and wine made in America, and to celebrate our heritage. 

After all, wine is an agriculture product, one which Thomas Jefferson encouraged.  According to American Vintage by Paul Lukacs, Jefferson wrote, “No nation is drunken where wine is cheap…. and we have every soil, aspect and climate of the best of wine countries.” 

Wine on America’s Table also celebrates the more than 6000 wineries which operate in the US today — many of which are small family operations.  It also highlights the fact that the US is the 4th largest wine producing nation in the world. 

And so in August, WWS chapters across the US will celebrate wine in moderation as part of our national heritage. Event themes include wine dinners, wine picnics, wine and the Sunday dinner, wine at the Presidential Table, childhood education on wine, cooking with wine, wine from different traditions in the American Melting Pot, and other related topics. 

The Napa/Sonoma Chapter will hold its special wine celebration at Fortunati Vineyards, a private estate nestled in the heart of Napa’s Oak Knoll District.  WWS members and guests will enjoy a leisurely Sunday afternoon amongst the vines.  Alfresco dining tables will be setup in the vineyard.  Wines from Fortunati, Cuvaison, and Sebastiani will be paired perfectly with Rob Larman’s mouth-watering pork, beef and chicken menu.  For more information see: http://www.womenforwinesense.org/content.aspx?page_id=87&club_id=540956&item_id=164658 

For more information on Women for WineSense, see http://www.womenforwinesense.org/.  For more information on American wineries, see http://www.wineamerica.org/.

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