(Bloomberg) — By Andy Hoffman
If residents of the Swiss canton of Fribourg make it to the age of 100, the government gives them plenty of help celebrating.
Centenarians are offered 100 bottles of local wine for reaching the milestone, Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimanche reported.
A Fribourg resident named Marie-Antoinette will turn 100 on Nov. 5 and a state councilor and local government representative will visit her with a bouquet of flowers and an offer of 100 bottles of wine, according to Le Matin.
Fribourg state bailiff Claude Freiburghaus told the newspaper the canton has been offering new centenarians the 100 bottles since 2000. They previously offered the choice of a free armchair, but stopped doing so in 2015 due to lack of interest.
Non-wine drinkers in the canton of about 311,000 people have another choice now. Since last year, new centenarians who don’t want the bottles can decide to bestow 1,500 Swiss francs ($1,646) to a charity. They can also opt for a voucher to spend at a local merchant or craftsman in the canton, Freiburghaus said.
Most take the wine.
“In 2020, we celebrated 27 centenarians. Five of them opted for the donation and two for the gift voucher,” Freiburghaus said.
Other Swiss cantons also offer wine to residents turning 100, but they aren’t as generous.
In Geneva, centenarians have the choice of three bottles of wine or a bouquet of flowers. Vaud offers twelve bottles of local wine, a personalized gift worth 500 Swiss francs, and a bouquet of flowers - sometimes. In Neuchatel, centenarians have to be content with a bouquet and a letter.