New Data About Veterans

A 2016 Edelman study in partnership with the Bush Institute found that 84% of employers and 75% of civilians see veterans as heroes, but only 26% of employers and 22% of civilians think of veterans as “strategic assets” in their communities.

A 2014 survey found that 83% of Americans believe veterans are more likely to suffer from mental illness (FACT: 95% of those who struggle with PTSD are non veterans); 75% of Americans thought veterans were more likely to commit suicide (FACT: Among 18 – 40 year olds veterans commit suicide at a rate average to their non-veteran peers); and 60% of Americans thought veterans were more likely to be unemployed (FACT: In 2016, veteran unemployment is 1% lower than the national average).

Though these numbers are encouraging there are still many members of this community, of our community, that need help.

$AVE and SPON$OR – Operation Dignity

Introducing our new program of

We recently donated some wine to a fund raiser for Operation Dignity. It is a non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area that assists homeless veterans and their families. We wanted to take our donation a step further.

We came up with the idea of $AVE and SPON$OR. We will offer our customers a 10% discount on all wine and an additional 20% will go to the organization we are sponsoring. It’s a win-win! Operation Dignity is also a veteran-run program started by Alex McElree in 1993, a veteran with three tours of Vietnam to his credit. He too experienced problems assimilating to life back in the States and battled alcoholism and homelessness himself. He started off with just his social security check and extra beds in his home. It’s an inspiring story if you want to read more.

We hope you can join us in supporting veterans that are helping other veterans. We are offering the program for the whole month of October. The coupon code is OPDIGNITY to receive your 10% discount and give 20% to Operation Diginity.

You can also donate directly to them through paypal here. Every little bit helps.

Wine Enthusiast Feature

Wahoo! Wine Enthusiast Rated our wines! As with nearly everything, whether something is good or not is a personal and subjective decision. Within each varietal there are different “styles” that bring out certain characteristics of the grapes. For example, many people love a really oaky Chardonnay, and others prefer a lighter oak and more balanced like ours. In some ways it might pay to work backwards. Once you have a wine you really like, find the person that rated it highest, and maybe at least in the varietal and style you may have similar tastes. Then of course there is added complication that wines do change slightly over time and peak at different times. By all accounts we can safely say all of our wines are really good. You will just have to try them to see which one you like the best.

90 POINTS 2013 Limited Production Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)
A trove of wild strawberry wraps around a concentration of full-bodied smoothness in this deep and brooding wine marked by a juicy core and plenty of length on the finish.
89 POINTS 2013 Limited Production Marsanne-Roussanne (Sonoma Valley)
A 50-50 split of the two varieties, there’s a lot to like in this wine, from its opening steely aromas to its surprisingly robust body of apricot and pineapple, with a crisp floral aspect keeping it balanced on the palate. A curious suggestion of marshmallow closes things out.
88 POINTS 2013 Limited Production Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)
Dark hay in color with a concentration of oak on the nose, the palate retains that richness of nutty almond and apple pie, finding a balance that betrays the heavier implications of the initial aromas. On the finish it offers a lightness of being, as well as a touch of perfume.
85 POINTS 2013 Limited Production Viognier (Sonoma Valley)
A 100% varietal wine, on the nose this suggests a pungency of French bread, which doesn’t open up for much else aromatically. On the medium-bodied palate, expect a mix of viscous honey and baked peach.

Here is the link to the full write-ups.

“It’s all love. It’s all love.” – Candace Payne

TED TALK: Our lonely society makes it hard for veterans to come home.

Tim and I are big fans of TED Talks. Great talks about information, inspiration, and entertainment in a small digestible video of usually 8-13 minutes. Here is one posted this week from Sebastian Junger, the author of “The Perfect Storm” and the director of the documentaries “Restrepo” and “Korengal,” his experiences with the military has led him to become an advocate for veterans. In this talk he makes a good point about the difficulties of our modern society.

I hope you take 13 minutes out of your day to listen.

UPDATE: After I posted this I got to think about Junger’s message. You may know that I graduated from West Point, United States Military Academy. I use to have a recurring nightmare that I was late for class, or late for formation. No matter what I did I couldn’t make it there on time. I would awake stressed and tired. One day after having one of these dreams I decided to make a post on my class board on Facebook. I spoke about my recurring dreams and asked if anyone else had similar experiences. I think there were roughly 70 different comments (and a lot of “likes”) of others admitting they had similar dreams or telling of their unique version. One of my classmates that had since got a degree in psychology (and happened to be my plebe roommate) said that we were all suffering from various degrees of PTSD. Note: there were severe consequences to being late. Since I made that post and realized that a significant part of my class had similarly recurring disturbing dreams, my “running late” dreams have not returned, and has been about a year now. I definitely think there is something to be said about knowing you are not alone and that there are others in your community that truly “get you.”