On July 14th, 1789, Bastille Day–the French national holiday–was born. This day commemorates the storming of the Bastille Prison and the beginning of the French Revolution. In celebration, Frenchmen and women (and those who love anything French) raise their glass and toast to the French all around the globe.
With France as one of the largest wine distributors in the world, we thought it would only be fitting to celebrate this occasion with a glass of French wine in hand. That’s why we took a look at all the great wine-related Bastille Day events lined up this weekend and hand-picked our faves.
A votre santé!
Thursday, July 11 - Sunday, July 14
Mintwood Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings
Mintwood Place has prepared a limited-time tasting menu in honor of Bastille Day. The menu features food inspired by the French Provençal region and summertime, and French wine pairings will be offered for each dish. Check out a sneak peek of the special menu on Mintwood’s Facebook page.
Friday, July 12
France vs. Italy Wine Tasting
Throughout the summer and early fall months, The Grille at Morrison House is hosting a series of “First Friday Wine Tastings” in the Morrison House Hotel’s picturesque patio in Old Town, Alexandria. To celebrate Bastille Day, join The Grille 5:30–7:30 p.m. this Friday for a tasting that will compare French wines to Italian wines. To participate in this ultimate wine showdown, purchase the $25 tickets via City Eats.
Saturday, July 13
Sixth Annual Bastille Day Celebration at Central Michel Richard
For a “Champs-Elysees-sized fête extraordinaire,” head to Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C. 5–11 p.m. this Saturday. All French bottles of wine will be sold at 20 percent off the list price, and complimentary gougeres (warm and cheesy French pastry puffs) will be served to all guests ordering dinner. In addition to Central’s award-winning regular dinner menu, featured specials will include tomato tartare, rack of lamb and cherry vacherin. To top off the ambiance, guests will enjoy the sounds of DC’s swingiest jazz quartet, Laissez-Foure, from 6–10 p.m. For more information, visit Central Michel Richard’s event page.
Sunday, July 14
A Culinary Tour of France
Join 2941 Restaurant 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. this Sunday for a Bastille Day food and wine tasting festival! The event will feature a tasting of 15 different French wines paired with a generous sampling of classic French fare by Chef Bertrand Chemel, a native of Auvergne France. To view their detailed menu and purchase the $48 tickets, visit 2941’s website.
French Independence Day at Bastille Restaurant & Wine Bar
Where better to celebrate Bastille Day than at Bastille Restaurant itself? This day so dear to the French is also a celebration of the bounty of summer, and so is the special menu that chefs Christophe and Michelle designed for the event. Check out their three-course prix fixe menu for $39 and their extensive French wine list!
Lisa Byrne is the co-founder of DC Wine Week and a lover of all things wine (clearly). Wine aside, Lisa is a social strategist with DC-based creative agency, Pappas Group, a fitness and paleo enthusiast, and obsessed with her German Shepherd, Ajax. You can find Lisa tweeting @LisaByrne, pinning @lisabyrnepins and Instagramming (her dog) @lisainmotion.