Today’s post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty.
It’s been called the nectar of the gods, but it may soon be called the nectar of Starbucks. The giant coffee chain is now selling wine (and beer) in a few test stores in Seattle in an attempt to expand its brand image. Starbucks has long been known as the “third place”—not quite home, not quite work—where people can refuel for the remainder of the day with their caffeinated beverage. But wine, not coffee, has historically been the refuel drink of choice the world over.
A look at the thousands of digitized World War II escape and evasion files reveals that the first beverages downed pilots sipped was often wine to calm the nerves, not coffee to keep them alert.
When Meriwether Lewis was preparing for his expedition out west, he brought 30 gallons of wine, about a gallon of the good stuff for each passenger.
And as the above photo shows, the French were sure to pack plenty of wine with them when heading off to war. This photo from the Dardanelles campaign shows enough fermented grape juice to fuel the forces all the way to Gallipoli.
Finally, none other than George Washington would have four to five glasses of wine at dinner each night (and only tea in the morning), according to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission–sponsored Papers of George Washington project.
So, next time you’re in line to order a venti caramel whip espresso, consider a grande cabernet instead.