August 7th is national Purple Heart Day, a day to pay respect to those who were wounded or killed in the cause of protecting and defending our nation in the US Armed Forces. The Mondavi family (whose patriarch, Peter, is a veteran of WWII) and winemaker Ray Coursen, a Vietnam Veteran, collaborated on the Purple Heart 2013 Red Wine.
The wine retails for around $20. Purple Heart Wines will make a generous annual donation (up to $50k per year) to the Purple Heart Foundation, an organization set up to help provide for the unmet needs of military men, women, and families. They focus on PTSD recovery, cancer treatment, sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury treatment, and other such services.
The wine is a blend made up primarily of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the Napa Valley. Its flavor profile lends itself to grilling season. Fruit-forward and firm, the nose is full of raspberry tart and plums. The body is medium-to-full, with big plummy flavors that slide towards licorice on the palate. The fruit’s pretty overwhelming at first pour, but as that calms down, the tannins start to emerge, yielding a long, somewhat smoky finish.
We tried this with a London broil alongside a grilled watermelon salad. (No, I’m not kidding – it was really good! Balsamic glaze is just the best.) I thought it was a very solid pairing, and I think you’ll like it with most flame-kissed meals.
(Stop reading here if you don’t want to get semi-political.)
On a personal note, if you have veterans – especially ones who may have earned this particular medal -- in your circles of friends and acquaintances, thanks, thoughts and prayers are nice – but ask them how they’re doing and how you can help. Maybe it’s just hanging out. Maybe you offer a ride to the VA. Perhaps you offer to let them tell you a story or two. In most cases, they’ve seen things that you haven’t, and they know things you don’t. Listen.
We have a long way to go in this country regarding the way that we treat our veterans. I’ll just ask you to do your part to keep this from ever happening again:
|This image still galls me.|
We are America. We must do better. We are better.