The favorite gift on my holiday shopping list this year? A three-pack of Purple Heart Red Wine for my father-in-law.
For me, it’s a no-brainer. My wife’s Dad served in Vietnam, where he was injured so badly that he was laid up in the hospital for months.
Following surgeries and physical therapy, he was able to walk again — but with one leg a few inches shorter than the other.
He uses a built-up shoe to “even things out,” as he describes it, and is still going strong at age 70.
So when I heard about Purple Heart wine and the organization that its sales benefit, I knew I had one person on my gift list handled.
Purple Heart Wine is produced under the stewardship of the Peter Mondavi Sr. family, whose patriarch served in World War II.
The 2014 vintage — a delicious Merlot-based cuvee — was crafted by Ray Coursen, who served in Vietnam, and David Grega, who served in Iraq.
Each bottle sold generates a contribution to the Purple Heart Foundation, which is the fundraising engine of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Through grants and outreach programs, the Purple Heart Foundation lends support to other organizations whose programs align with its mission, and also makes smaller, direct contributions to veterans facing exceptionally difficult financial challenges.
As any family with a returning veteran knows, the emotional, medical and financial burdens of serving can be daunting. The Purple Heart Foundation helps fill an important void through its donations to organizations and individuals.
On Christmas night, when we open up that first bottle of 2014 Purple Heart Red Wine from California’s Napa Valley, we will breathe in its seductive cherry and berry aromas.
Then we will raise our glasses and toast my father-in-law and all the other veterans who have put themselves in harm’s way to protect our freedom.