Today is the first day of summer and while we are sure we will be drinking plenty of Gelber Muskateller and Grüner Veltliner (among other wines) all summer long, we will take a moment, put down these glasses and instead raise a glass to Riesling.

Why Riesling in particular? Well that is because the first day of summer also marks the first day of the Summer of Riesling 2012 and this year Austrian wine is a participant.

For those who do not know what Summer of Riesling is, please start familiarizing yourself by reading this interview with the Overlord of Riesling himself.

But in short, the Summer of Riesling is a nationwide promotion of the Riesling grape. Top restaurants, bars, and shops in every state have already signed on, but there is always room for more. All a participating restaurant needs to do to is to agree to pour 3 Rieslings by the glass all summer (preferably Austrian, though can be from anywhere ;).) Wine shops needs to have a dedicated RIESLING display and host 3 Riesling in-store tastings. In return, they will be all listed on the Summer of Riesling website as a participating restaurant/wine bar/shop AND they will receive an amazing package of Summer of Riesling goodies (e.g. T-Shirts, buttons, Tattoos, Stickers, Posters, AND a Thank You letter from the Austrian President himself.) So if you are any of these things, please join the party, just sign up HERE.

What does that mean for us? Well that means Riesling from Austria will be poured at varying places throughout the country, and perhaps internationally too, all summer long.

Added bonus: In celebration of Austrian Riesling specifically we are also bringing the SoR fun to Chicago with series of fun Austrian events from August 17-19 (more details to come soon, so please stay tuned!) There will be a city-wide Riesling dinner initiative, as well as wine stores who are interested in hosting Austrian Riesling tastings, a concert, a late-night party, and maybe even a brunch!

As you can see, we’ve dutifully created two maps for you, Chicago and New York metro, so you’ll know where to get your Riesling on all summer long – of course home Riesling consumption is also encouraged.

Show your support with these great items too, they’re fun, trendy, and always a conversation starter! And please don’t forget to join us June 27th on Twitter from 9-10pmEST for #WineChat RIESLING!

Happy sipping & prost!