On November 5, Fribourg resident named Marie-Antoinette will turn 100. On that day, a state councilor and local government representative will visit her with a bouquet of flowers and an offer of 100 bottles of wine.
The Swiss canton has been offering centenarians the 100 bottles since 2000, according to Fribourg state bailiff Claude Freiburghaus. Until 2015, residents could choose a free armchair instead of the wine, but they stopped offering it due to lack of interest.
Non-wine drinkers in the 311,000-person canton now have another choice. New centenarians who don’t want the bottles can decide to bestow 1,500 Swiss francs ($1,646 USD) to a charity or can also choose voucher to spend at a local merchant or craftsman in the canton, Freiburghaus told the outlet.
Still, most take the wine.
“In 2020, we celebrated 27 centenarians. Five of them opted for the donation and two for the gift voucher,” said Freiburghaus.
Fribourg is not the only Swiss cantons to offer wine to residents turning 100, but they are the most generous. In Geneva,
In Geneva, centenarians cab choose between three bottles of wine or a bouquet of flowers. Vaud sometimes offers twelve bottles of local wine, a personalized gift worth 500 Swiss francs, and a bouquet of flowers. In Neuchatel, centenarians just get a bouquet and a letter.
If you find yourself suddenly interested in just how good Swiss wine might be, one wine from the European nation was selected as part of The Top 50 Wines in Decanter’s World Wine Awards 2021. The bottle chosen was the St. Jodern Kellerei, Heida Barrique, Wallis, Valais, Switzerland, 2018.