The French have a festive and convivial tradition of gathering before a meal to share a glass of wine, cocktails and savory small dishes. It is the Apéritif. Originally conceived to “whet the appetite” before dinner or lunch, the Apéritif is part of the famous French gourmet meal which was added in 2010 to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

Americans have been encouraged to discover this engaging tradition for 8 years now, thanks to French Cocktail Hour, or “Apéritif à la Française”, a worldwide initiative by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Sopexa to promote French food, wines and spirits through the concept of Apéritif.

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Apéritif à la Française is an annual worldwide happening organized in more than 10 countries and celebrated on the first Thursday of June.
This year, in the USA, the French Cocktail Hour celebration revolves around a nationwide digital Photo Contest hosted on Food.com, the leading cooking website.
From June 4 to July 16, Food.com visitors can enter the contest by posting a picture showing how they would celebrate a French Cocktail Hour. To make the experience even more enjoyable, they should of course use French food and wine, and can get inspiration and special offers from the programs sponsors; Bordeaux wines, Fromager d’Affinois cheese and O&CO.’s tapenade, olives and olive oil.

To increase their chance of winning, contestants can share their picture on their social media pages and ask their friends to vote for them.
Food Network team of judges will elect the two best pictures and offer two grand prizes:  a trip for two to NYC to attend a special private event in the Food Networks kitchens.
The 14 entries with the higher volume of user votes will win a selection of great French products (1-year supply of olive oil by O&CO., 10 Le Creuset Dutch ovens, 1 Cocktail Basket by chef Daniel Boulud, and 2 Cocktail recipe books by chef Daniel Boulud).

To learn more :