Toasting America’s Vets With a Wine Made by Vets

Memorial Day isn’t just an excuse to fire up the grill at our house — although we WILL be grilling on May 29.

During the day, we’ll be taking time out to honor the men and women who have served our country through the years, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. And we’ll be toasting them with glasses of the 2014 Purple Heart Red Wine, a Napa Valley cuvee that was crafted by veterans.

Ray Coursen, who served in Vietnam, and David Grega, who served in Iraq, combined their winemaking skills to make this wine. And they did it under the close stewardship of the Peter Mondavi Sr. family, whose patriarch was a proud veteran of World War II.

It’s a wine that’s not only delicious, but also benefits the Purple Heart Foundation, dedicated to serving the unmet needs of military men, women and families.

Anyone who has had family members serve our country understands that veterans are special people. My father-in-law served (and was badly wounded) in Vietnam. I have a cousin who flew rescue helicopters in Vietnam, and saw things nobody should ever have to see.

My late parents were not in the service, but they did build airplanes for the war effort during World War II. In fact, they met while working together at Douglas Aircraft (before it became McDonnell Douglas). Dad was a foreman, and Mom was a “Rosy the Riveter.” A case could be made that were it not for World War II, I would not be here.

So I’ve always felt strongly about respecting and honoring our service men and women. That’s why when Michelle and I got married in October of 2015, we asked for donations to the BVL Fund — an organization that provides recreation-based therapeutic services to vets — in lieu of presents.

And that’s why on Memorial Day, we’ll be lighting the grill, cooking some rib-eye steaks, and opening a couple bottles of Purple Heart Red Wine — a sublime blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot.

We’ll toast America’s vets, and we’ll toast the good work that the Purple Heart Foundation does for vets.

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Posted in Wine Buzz, Wine in the Glass
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