Tuesday, March 5, 2024 Mar 5, 2024
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What to Drink Now: Wine and Spirits That Give Back

Charitable libations to make tonight's cocktail hour even tastier.
By Hayley Hamilton Cogill |

Dallas is a highly charitable city. With dozens of opportunities to give, the problem isn’t finding a cause to believe in, it’s narrowing down which to support. Here are a few wine and spirits options to make your giving easier. Each selection gives generously to their chosen charity while providing delicious sips to their clientele. (Some were sent for editorial consideration.)

After last fall’s Northern California wildfires, dozens of wineries, restaurants, and businesses banded together to help rebuild, donating portions of overall sales, tasting room fees and more. E. & J. Gallo gave over $1 million to relief efforts throughout the North Bay; Duckhorn donated $300k to Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma: Trinchero donated over $250k; Treasury Wine Estates over $200k; and many more, large and small, continue to give to the relief efforts. Cakebread recently released “Phoenix,” a juicy, wildberry filled Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon ($27.50) with 100-percent of profits going to the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund.

In 2008 Carol Lohr, wife of J. Lohr founder Jerry Lohr, passed away from breast cancer. In 2009 the family created  “Touching Lives” in partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, helping women who can’t afford mammograms receive them. Sales from both J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($17) and  Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($55) support early breast cancer detection and awareness through screenings. (Available at Total Wine.)

Limited edition (Belvedere)RED Vodka benefits The Global Fund working to end the HIV/Aids epidemic in Africa. 2017 sales (Belvedere)RED raised enough for almost 40,000 HIV positive women in Africa to receive treatments, stopping the virus transmission to their babies. ($22, at Total Wine.)


Women-run Cambria Winery founded “Seeds of Empowerment” in 2014, giving a $100,000 annual grant to remarkable women leaders and non-profit organizations. To celebrate the program, Cambria created two wines, each with labels depicting inspirational women. The green apple and white peach filled “Cambria Clone 4 Chardonnay” features entrepreneur Dr. Victoria Kisyombe, who has helped over 200,000 women in Tanzania. ($20, via their website.)

In 2009 John Paul Dejoria, founder of Patrón Spirits International, created “Grow Appalachia” to address the problem of food security in Appalachia, believing the best way to help people is to empower them to help themselves. Additionally, Patrón makes a positive impact on the earth through industry-leading sustainability practices while giving back to their community, donating food and supplies to feed over 1000 families living near their Mexican Hacienda, including a plethora of vegetables from their estate garden. (Patron Anejo Tequila, $55, at Spec’s.)

If you’re an earthy Pinot Noir lover, you are likely a fan of Willamette Valley selections. As popular as the region and wine have become lately, there is still much to learn about this relatively young region that is constantly changing. Earlier in April, the Willamette Valley Winery Association held its third annual Pinot Noir Auction raising funds to help with education about the region. The event exceeded expectations, raising over $800k for their future efforts.

Red wine being poured into a stem glass at the table.

Juicy Purple Heart Wine makes an annual donation to the Purple Heart Foundation, an organization dedicated to serving the unmet needs of military men, women, and families. In 2017 the foundation helped over 19,000 veterans secure more than $210 million in VA benefits. ($18, at Total Wine.)

At age 11, Colby Groom asked his father, acclaimed winemaker Daryl Groom, if they could make a wine and donate the proceeds to heart research. Colby, who was born with congenital heart disease, wanted to make a difference helping children with heart issues. In 2010 they made a Sonoma red blend, hoping to raise enough money to make a $500 donation. They far exceed that goal. By 2017 Colby Red has donated over $1 million to heart-related charities. ($14, at Walgreens.)

Care to get in the giving spirit a little closer to home. Tickets are available now for Savor Dallas, one of Dallas’ leading food and wine festivals, made even better with the addition of Honorary Co-Chairs, dynamic Paige Chenault, Founder of The Birthday Party Project, and always charming, Chef Chad Houser, Co-Founder & CEO of Cafe Momentum. Details here.

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