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National Drink Wine Day!

Today we celebrate National Drink Wine Day.  This day is observed annually on February 18th.

Everybody loves to drink wine whether it is red or white, sweet or sparkling.  My favorite wine is a sweet red wine called Roscato Rosso, and I also love Asti Spumante, a white sparkling wine.  We all know that wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes.  Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it into ethanol, carbon dioxide, and heat.

The wine has been produced for a thousand years, in which the earliest known traces are from Georgia in 6000 BC, although there is evidence of a similar alcoholic drink being consumed in China in 7000 BC.  The wine has long played an important role in a religion where Red wine is associated with blood by the ancient Egyptians and was used by both the Greek cult and the Romans in the Bacchanalia, and Christianity in the Eucharist.

Red and White wine has a different process of extraction.  The White wine is produced when the non-colored grape pulp is used in fermentation, typically green or yellow grapes are used.  Meanwhile, Red wine involves the extraction of color and flavor components from the grape skin of dark-colored grape varieties.

Nowadays, Red wine is consumed on a daily basis which according to studies has health benefits, provided that you limit your consumption to a glass every day.  Wine is typically drunk on its own when you wanted to unwind in the evening or it can be drunk during dinner pairing it with your special type of recipes.

So, today, celebrate this day by opening a bottle of your favorite wine and drink it with your sumptuous dinner tonight.  Just remember, always drink responsibly and share your favorite wine on your social media using #DrinkWineDay.

2010 WikiLeaks publishes the first documents leaked by Chelsea Manning

On February 18, 2010, a relatively obscure website called WikiLeaks publishes a leaked diplomatic cable detailing discussions between American diplomats and Icelandic government officials. The leak of “Reikjavik13” barely registered with the public, but it was the first of what turned out to be nearly 750,000 sensitive documents sent to WikiLeaks by Chelsea Manning. Manning is now considered one of the most prolific and significant whistleblowers in American history, as her leaks shed light on atrocities committed by American armed forces, painted a far grimmer picture of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and greatly embarrassed the United States’ diplomatic establishment.

Manning, an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, was deployed to Iraq in October of 2009. Her job gave her access to all manner of classified and sensitive information from various organs of state. On January 5th, 2010, she began downloading massive amounts of material, starting with 400,000 documents pertaining to the Iraq War. Manning put the information on a CD marked “Lady Gaga” in order to smuggle it home and upload it to her personal computer. On leave in the United States, she shopped the information to both The New York Times and The Washington Post but neither took an interest. She began sending material to WikiLeaks in early February but again got no response.

(excerpted from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/wikileaks-publishes-first-documents-leaked-by-chelsea-manning)