Showing posts with label charity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label charity. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

A Great Wine For A Great Cause

Just when I think I could swear off Cabernet Sauvignon forever, along comes a wine that makes me scrap that fateful decision. 

It's not that I don't like Cab, it's just that I want to try all the grapes. Whenever I have a Cab, I feel that I am missing out on discovering some grape that is new to me. Plus, so many people are shortsighted where grapes are concerned. Cabernet Sauvignon gets enough attention, in my humble opinion.

But, here comes the tantalizing siren. A sustainably farmed, single vineyard Cab from the place that was built on that grape: the Napa Valley. The 2021 J. Lohr Carol's Vineyard Cabernet is from the St. Helena appellation, within the famed valley. It was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, a little more than half of which were new. Carol's Vineyard was named for Jerry Lohr's late wife, who fell victim to breast cancer more than a decade ago. Today, in her memory, each bottle of the namesake Cab which is sold makes a donation to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation. 

The vineyard contains gravelly, sandy loam soils which provide a great basis for the grapes. The wine carries alcohol at 14.5% abv and a retail price of $60. Red winemaker Brenden Wood says if you can hang onto it for a dozen or more years, you'll be well rewarded for your restraint.

This extremely dark wine is indigo in color. The nose features black fruit aromas, like blackberry, fig and plum. There are a ton of spices at work here, too, but in a very subtle way. Cinnamon, allspice, thyme and sage notes appear. The palate has some very firm tannins at work, while the black fruit shows itself again. The dark flavors align with the smells on the nose. This wine is a perfect mate for a juicy rib eye steak, or a nice pork chop hot off the grill. 

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Monday, April 24, 2023

Man Drinks Wine - For Dogs

The 2021 Bardog California Cabernet Sauvignon is dedicated to Man's Best Friend, otherwise known as the canine companions often found in bars and tasting rooms. Plenty of "bone-vivant" is promised on the label, and the winery puts their money where their four-footed friends are, donating to animal rescues across North America in a partnership with the Petfinder Foundation.

The Bardog wine was aged in new French oak barrels. Alcohol tips in at 13.5% abv and it retails for $12.50.

There is a medium-dark tint in the glass, while the nose displays red fruit - plums, raspberries - and a healthy dose of oak spice - clove, cinnamon, mocha - along with an herbal note of eucalyptus. The palate is fruit-forward enough to keep the oak at bay and there is a rustic chalkiness to the wine, which I find appealing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Ukraine Solidarity From Royal Wine Corp.

My thanks to the publicist who informed me of this great action from Royal Wine Corp.  Here is the press release:

In a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian victims and refugees under attack by Russian forces, Royal Wine Corp. will donate 100% of the proceeds of the sales starting on 2/24/2022 through 3/10/2022 of two of their leading vodka brands – Xdar, which is a Ukrainian vodka, and Lvov, a Polish vodka named after the Ukrainian town Lviv – to Emergency Ukraine. The donation will be at a minimum of $30,000.

"Royal Wine stands with the people of Ukraine and we demonstrate our support for their independence," said Mordy Herzog CEO of Royal Wine Corp. "While we are all praying and hoping for peace to return to the region we feel compelled to help in a meaningful way. As a flagship Jewish-American business, we are committed to their material and moral sustenance in their fight for freedom."

Founded in 1848, Royal Wine Corp. has been owned and operated in the United States by the Herzog family, whose winemaking roots go back eight generations to its origin in Czechoslovakia.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Charity Wine: Heroic Red, Valiant White

I’m not usually a fan “charity wines” that promise to donate money to a cause. No matter how good the cause, the wine doesn’t typically measure up. In this case, I don’t really care about the taste of it so much as the cause.

Heroic Red and Valiant White wines are distributed by Leer Vineyards in Byron, CA.  Leer Vineyards is nestled in East Contra Costa County in the town of Byron, complete with stunning views of Mount Diablo.

Currently, owner Stefan Leer and his family are working with winemakers in the Lodi area to crush, barrel and bottle their current offerings.

The charity part comes in when $1.50 for each bottle of Heroic Red or Valiant White sold goes to help purchase a mortgage and tax free home for a wounded warrior. They’ve already presented four houses to soldiers in 2015.  See them here: homes4woundedheroes

The Leer wines are available at walmart stores in Texas and select locations in California, or online.

Heroic Red contains 58% Syrah, 29% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a perfectly funky, earthy nose full of black fruit, espresso and bitter chocolate. The palate also shows earth and dark fruit and has a funky undercurrent running through it, which is entirely enjoyable. The tannic structure is rather weak, though, leaving it somewhat limp and flaccid.

Valiant White shows a sweetly floral nose of honeysuckle and pear juice, with just a trace of earthiness. On the palate, it’s more sweet fruit - peaches, pears, nectarines - and the hint of earth. The husky mineral note keeps it from being a one-dimensional wine, which is how I usually find Moscatos.

This one has a bit of acidity, so pairing with a salad would be alright, although it seems made for sipping.  You might want to try having it with a spicy dish, since the sweetness will play a good counterpoint to a spicy shrimp or Thai dish. Bleu cheese is also a good bet.

CoffĂ©y is the official spokesman for Heroic Red and Valiant White.  His song, "Mr. Red, White and Blue" has been viewed some 4 million times on YouTube.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Margerum Wine, Whole Foods Market Go To Dogs... And Cats

An event is coming to Santa Barbara that animal lovers will want to put on the calendar.

Pet Adopt-a-Thon & Barbeque at Whole Foods Market, Santa Barbara

Saturday, September 26th 11-2pm

Volunteers from Cold Nose Warm Heart of Goleta and ASAP Cats of Santa Barbara will be on hand with pups and kittens hoping to find humans to rescue, while Margerum Wine Company's David Moorman will be grilling up hot dawgs to benefit cool cats and dogs!

Prizes include dinner at the Wine Cask, Whole Foods Market gift cards and gift baskets, winery and brewery hats, Tshirts and other goodies!

Tickets can be obtained in several ways: 

 $5 CASH ONLY per ticket, 100% of ticket sales will be donated. Tickets will go on sale Saturday, September 12th at the Buzz Hive, inside Whole Foods, Santa Barbara.

 Buy a Dawg to Save a Dog - Purchase one of David’s Dawgs and receive a raffle ticket, too!

 Feed The Homeless - Purchase a large bag of Whole Paws dry dog or cat food ($18.99) or a case of wet cat or dog canned food ($24), receive FIVE raffle tickets. All Whole Paws food will be donated to ASAP & CNWH.

 Drink Up For the Kits & Pups! Attend the beer & wine tasting events, $6 CASH ONLY, raffle ticket included with flight. $5 will be donated to ASAP/CNWH.

Flight times: Friday, 5:30-7:30pm, Saturday 11-2pm

100% of proceeds donated, winners need NOT be present to win!

Brooks Van Wingerden, General Manager at Margerum Wine Company, writes that Doug Margerum and Gina Cook (the wine specialist for Whole Foods) were tasting together a few months ago, not long after Doug had lost his beloved dog, Patches

Margerum and Cook are doing a series of private label wines for Whole Foods. As they were "patching together" a Pinot Noir blended with fruit from some of the best sites in Sta. Rita Hills AVA ( La Encantada Vineyards, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, and Radian Vineyard ), a Merlot blend from the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA and others they bantered about their pets, past and present and thought, "what can we do to help more cats and dogs find furever homes?"

Just like that, the idea to give a donation for each bottle sold from two of these new wines was formed. 

One dollar from every bottle sold of Rapporte (French for "fetch") Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills (retail $34.99) will be donated by Doug Margerum to Cold Noses, Warm Hearts.

Fifty cents from every bottle of Chaton Heureux Cuvee (French for "Cat, Happy Blend") Merlot blend (retail $19.99) will be donated to ASAP Cats. 

Both are volunteer-run rescue groups that work to save cats and dogs destined for euthanasia at the Santa Barbara county shelter.

The labels were designed with pets in mind and both the labels and the wines are stunning.

The wines will be available exclusively at select Whole Foods Markets from SLO to San Diego and at Doug Margerum's tasting rooms in El Paseo – downtown Santa Barbara.

For more information, please call 805-686-8500 or email

Monday, May 18, 2015

Charity Wine: Paws For A Cause

Baron Cooper is a rescued Manchester Terrier adopted by the Habashi family from their local Humane Society. "He had been a part of a prisoner rehabilitation program that left him with serious behavioral issues," the Habashis explain onn the website, "and as a result, he also had difficulty trusting strangers - especially men. Today we are working our hardest to help Cooper forget his past and enjoy his new life.  Slowly, he's regaining the happy-go-lucky and playful attitude he was meant to have."

Baron Cooper Wines - the wine label bearing his name and likeness - is intended to “raise awareness to the plight of all shelter animals in need of new and loving families,” according to the label. It goes on, “The Baron Cooper wine brand is dedicated to Cooper and to all pets in shelters across the country.” The company raises more than just awareness, too. They raise money for the cause. Five percent of all the sales of Baron Cooper wines will be donated to the Best Friends Animal Society focused on saving the lives of animals in America’s shelters.

The Baron Cooper line offers a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay, a Cab and a red blend which are labelled with nothing more specific than “California” for point of origin. The line also includes a Sonoma County Pinot Noir and a single-vineyard old-vine Zinfandel from Lodi.

Baron Cooper 2012 Chardonnay, California

This white wine is made from 97% Chardonnay and 3% other white varieties, which are unnamed in the supporting material I could find. An alcohol level of 12.8% abv is quite reasonable. The wine sells for $16.

There is a nice golden hue and a nose containing the scent of apples, tropical fruit and a gentle kiss of oak. The palate has oak spice coming on much stronger in the flavor profile - even more so as it opens up. The apple is joined by apricot, lime and a little orange zest. Lip-smacking, juicy acidity makes food pairing easy. The lime stretches into the finish

Baron Cooper 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Usually I am not too crazy about Cabernet showing nothing more than California as the AVA. More specific information is required for me to take a bottle from the shelf. This one - sent to me as a sample for review - is not something which I anxiously awaited. The wine carries alcohol at a reasonable 13.6% abv clip and retails for $20.

It's a medium-dark wine with aromas of dark berry and black cherry. The oak spice is sweet and light. Flavors of blackberry and plum are met by good tannins that lay low and don't get in the way of the sip. While it’s probably not making any top ten lists, the wine really is pretty decent. It doesn't have Napa Valley worried, but if you were to spend $20 on a Cabernet you could do a lot worse. I'd actually like this chilled at a summer BBQ.

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

SLO Wine Event Seeks Beneficiary

Wine events are fun to attend - in vino festivus - but they usually have a serious side, too.  The serious side of wine realizes there are many good causes that can be helped along with a little cash now and then.  When you take in cash from a wine event - pardon my socialism - why not share the wealth?

San Luis Obispo area non-profit organizations can apply to share the charity money raised at the 23rd annual SLO Wine Country Association’s Rockin’ Harvest Celebration and Auction,  November 1-3, 2013.

The live auction portion of the event features a “fund a need” live auction lot.  All proceeds from this lot go directly to the nonprofit.  The nonprofit is invited to have a spokesperson say a few words to the crowd about their cause prior to the auctioning of the lot.  They also receive recognition in the auction brochure and in all marketing efforts prior to the event.  The charity has the option of placing items in the day’s silent auction event and benefiting from money raised there as well.

Heather Muran is the executive director of  the association, and she says, “SLO Wine Country has been honored to help support various nonprofits through the years.  It’s a fantastic way to raise awareness of local organizations with programs focused on health and human services, education and the arts.”

In years past, the Harvest Celebration has supported such nonprofits as CASA of San Luis Obispo County, Hospice of San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly.

Applications for this year’s event will be accepted through August 23, 2013.  The applicant or applicants will then be chosen as the beneficiary of this year’s “fund a need” program.  Applications may be found at

About the 23rd Rockin’ Harvest Celebration and Auction

Saturday November 2, 2013 - “Grand Tasting and Auction,” noon to 3 p.m. at the Avila Beach Golf Resort.  Attendees enjoy cuisine by some of the finest local chefs paired with wines by the artisan winemakers of SLO Wine Country.  Along with food and wine from more than 60 establishments comes an “over the top” wine and lifestyle auction, hosted by the winemakers.  Those who book rooms in Avila Beach receive $20 off Grand Tasting tickets and may use a special trolley arranged for the weekend.  Info/tickets:

Friday, November 1, 2013 - “Rockin’ Road Trip,” 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Guests become “roadies” for an afternoon and enjoy a “backstage” look at three SLO Wine Country wineries.  From vine to wine, attendees learn the art of winemaking.  Luncheon and tasting included.

Friday evening, November 1, 2013 - “Collaborative Winemaker Dinner,” TBA.

Sunday, November 3, 2013 - “SLO Wine on Tour.”  Attendees to Saturday’s Grand Tasting are invited to explore SLO Wine Country all day on Sunday with complimentary tastings.  Tasting rooms will offer food, wine and live entertainment along with wine discounts and special offers.

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