The movie Jarhead may not have gotten rave reviews, but a wine that shares its name is starting to make its mark. Adam Firestone, president of Firestone Vineyard in Santa Barbara (and the older brother of former Bachelor Andrew Firestone), has just released Jarhead Red, a $10 Cabernet Sauvignon. The bottling helps to raise money for the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, which supports marines' children, particularly those whose parents were wounded or killed in action. Firestone, a former marine, made the first small batch of Jarhead Red for a Marine Corps dinner a couple years ago. "We repeated it for the last several dinners, and it got a little bit of a following, and with that came a request to use it for other dinners," he says. In response to the increased demand, 674 cases were produced from the 2005 vintage; the wine is available over the Internet and at retailers in New York and Los Angeles. So far, Firestone has raised enough money for two $10,000 scholarships, and he is now working on a third. "A lot of people would think that marines aren't cultured enough to appreciate good wine," says Firestone, "and we've proven that wrong."
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A is for … Alabama wine. Washington, D.C., restaurant Charlie Palmer Steak, which holds Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence for its wine list, is continuing its quest to expose diners to wines from all 50 states. The latest promotion: Wine Wednesdays, during which discounts will be offered on glasses or bottles of one wine from a different state each week. As the promotion will run alphabetically, it kicks off today with Alabama. Unfiltered isn't sure that's exactly going to lure customers in droves. But considering the restaurant is in the capital, at least it didn't start off with a polarizing state like Texas or, in the current political atmosphere, it might have faced a dining filibuster.
Making a Big Move: Damian North, winemaker at Oregon's Benton-Lane winery, who shared his thoughts on this year's harvest in Wine Spectator's Voices of the Vintage series, is taking his family back to his native Australia. He wasn't just homesick. He had the opportunity to join Leeuwin Estate, one of the highest-profile wineries in Oz; the Margaret River winery's Art Series Chardonnay has made it onto Wine Spectator's Top 100 list two years in a row, in 2005 and 2004. North will be No. 2 on the ladder, under senior winemaker Paul Atwood. "[North] is a great winemaker," says Steven Girard, owner of Benton-Lane. "His wines--the fruit just leapt out of them. We're sorry to have Damian move on, but he's leaving as a good friend." North's replacement is Edna Valley winemaker Tim Wilson, who will make the move from California's Central Coast to Oregon in mid-January.
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