Red Wine & Beverages

Wine, Champagne, and other genteel beverages listed here.   For whisky, spirits, liqueurs, and ales, see Whisky & Spirits.

Selected Dances

(click for more wine and vinyard folkore and background information)

A Flute of Mad Wine

Drink Wine Day

Do you enjoy a glass of wine? Do you recognize and are able to distinguish the many flavour compounds in a glass? Might you be a supertaster? Scientists have been studying supertasters for decades, and estimate that roughly 25 percent of the population falls into this category. Most of the research on supertasters has focused on bitterness—in part because of an accidental discovery that some people can taste certain bitter chemicals while others can’t detect these same chemicals at all. (More on this in a moment.) Folks who can detect these bitter chemicals often dislike cruciferous vegetables, black coffee, dark chocolate, hot peppers and the sting of alcohol. In wine, supertasters are thought to prefer something sweet, and some research supports this idea. One large study of 1,010 American wine drinkers found that supertasters, broadly speaking, preferred sweet and fortified wines over dry table wines. Cin cin! 🍇🍷

Champagne Reel

Champagne Day

According to the famous champagne maker Moët & Chandon, hot, dry harvest seasons produce aromas of spicy, nutty flavors like sandalwood, praline and marzipan, while wet harvest seasons produced floral bouquets with hints of vanilla, honey and almond!

Red Wine & Straight Lines

Merlot Day

Are you a connoisseur of the grape? An oenophile? A Merlot fan!? All of the most common red wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are descended from just one species of grape: Vitis vinifera, which originated in Eastern Europe. In fact, the oldest-known winery was discovered in a cave in Vayots Dzor, Armenia, and contained a wine press, fermentation vats, jars, and cups dating to c. 4100 BC! The parentage of the Merlot grape has been the subject of much research. One wine parent has been determined to be that of a Cabernet Franc and a half-sibling of Carménère, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. The identity of the second parent of Merlot has been recently identified by DNA analysis, from vines growing in an abandoned vineyard in Saint-Suliac in Brittany, as the mother of Merlot! Cheers! 🍷🍇

A Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy Day

The classic cure for a winter cold, the Hot Toddy's origins are unknown but by the 1700s, it was a popular drink in Scotland! Some attribute the drink's name to a reference in Allan Ramsay's 1781 poem, “The Morning Interview”, which mentions Edinburgh's Todian Spring (also called Tod’s Well). Another theory suggests that the cocktail may have been named for toddy, an Indian drink made from fermented palm tree sap, and reinvented by British traders on their return to Scotland by mixing tea, scotch and sweetener. Yet another theory attributes the term to 19th century British physician, Richard Bentley Todd, who promoted the concoction for medicinal use. Regardless, even doctors today concede that the ingredients may both help you feel better and have actual medicinal value via the honey, lemon, spices, and even the whisky, which contains the antioxidant ellagic acid, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties! 🥃 🍋 🍯 🐝

Elderflower Champagne

Champagne Day

Made with the lacy, cream-colored flowers of the elderberry shrub (Sambucus nigra or S. canadensis), elderflower "champagne" is a naturally bubbly, sparkling wine with a delicate taste. A favourite beverage of home brewers, care must be taken to avoid exploding bottles during fermentation. For a less dangerous beverage, elderflower cordial is also a lovely after-dancing drink! Recipes included! 🍾

Spilt Milk

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day

If crying over spilled milk seems too mundane during these days of artisan dairy products, you now have a choice of things to lament over including: yak butter, water buffalo gelato, reindeer cheese, camel milk, kumis (alcoholic horse milk), human cheese, sheep yogurt, moose cheese, goat ice cream, donkey cheese, or pig milk ricotta. If that list has you reeling, try the included recipe for the Spilt Milk cocktail (using a milk liqueur of your choice). 🥛🐄

Apple Wine and Georgia Peaches

Peach Pie Day

For three centuries English-speakers have been using "peach" and "peachy" to describe things that they considered really good, desirable and attractive, including attractive young ladies. The soft protective peach fuzz which inhibits insects and rot marks the only significant difference between peaches and their close cousin the nectarine and is a is a result of a single gene variant. 🍑🍑🍑

Hot Butterbeer

Harry Potter's Birthday

In the mood for Butterbeer, Cauldron Cakes, and Fizzing Whizzbees? Butterbeer is the drink of choice for younger wizards. It can be served cold or hot but either way it has a warming effect. Although House-elves can become intoxicated on Butterbeer, the amount of alcohol contained in Butterbeer has a negligible effect on Witches and Wizards. The actual alcohol content of Butterbeer is open for debate among Potter scholars and fans, but most agree that it does contain some alcohol, just not a lot, similar to a wine cooler. At the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Disneyworld, you can try a real-life Butterbeer in two varieties, frozen and regular. It has been variously described as a cross between cream soda and butterscotch or more like shortbread and butterscotch. All agree it's very sweet with a thick head of foam on the top.🍺

The Whisky Punch

Eggnog Night

Much loved in the American colonies, where access to eggs and dairy (and liquor) was easily available, eggnog (derived from an egg-less concoction from the 14th century, known as posset “a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or the like, often sweetened and spiced") is a popular holiday beverage made with eggs, spices, milk or cream, and various quantities of rum, whisky, sherry, brandy and bourbon. Eggnog has the added distinction of being responsible for the Eggnog Riot of 1826, also called the Grog Mutiny, which took place on this day at the United States Military Academy in West Point, resulting in the court-martialing of many cadets of future eminence. Cheers!

Wine & Champagne Dance Index

(click for dance description or cribs)

Other Festive Beverages Dance Index

(click for dance description or cribs)

Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the


Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 


Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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