Last year, actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis released their timely Quarantine Oregon Pinot Noir with Washington state’s Nocking Point Wines, and sales of Quarantine raised more than $1 million for several nonprofits. Now Kutcher, Kunis and Nocking Point are returning with a sequel: Outside, a 2019 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon–Syrah blend.
“Mila and I were so grateful for the outpouring of support around our Quarantine Wine that we wanted to keep the ball rolling and think ‘outside the box’ to continue giving back,” said Kutcher in a statement. “Nocking Point is the perfect partner because they take ideas and quickly turn them into an amazing reality in an extremely efficient and nimble way.”
According to Nocking Point co-founder Andrew Harding, Kutcher was thinking of “a more evergreen, charitable wine concept” at the end of 2020, and wanted it to help other nonprofits. "Ashton personally directed the profile of wine he was looking for, selected the final blend, art directed the label, came up with the name and shaped the entire packaging experience himself," Harding told Wine Spectator via email. Net profits from Outside sales will go to Thorn, Kutcher’s nonprofit committed to protecting children from online exploitation, and to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk’s the Skatepark Project (formerly known as the Tony Hawk Foundation), which builds skateparks in underserved communities.
Made by winemaker Sean Boyd, Outside is available online in 2-bottle packs ($50). In a labeling twist, consumers will find out which charity their money went to as they pour the wine: The cube on the wine’s label is partially transparent, and reveals the benefiting nonprofit’s name as the bottle empties. While only two charities are in the mix right now, the team plans to bring in others with each new bottling of Outside.
“Ashton and I share a lot of creative and business ideas on a regular basis. It’s obvious that he’s incredibly savvy when it comes to being a catalyst for young, high-growth companies,” Harding explained. Indeed, it turns out that Outside isn’t the only new addition at Nocking Point. Last month, the winery announced that Kutcher had joined its board of directors. “His ideas around talent, team building, growth opportunities, technology platforms, scaling and much more have already added significant value in many ways,” said Harding “And he’s a fun guy to hang out with, so it’s really special having a friend and a strategic advisor like him rolled into one!”
Rhône Roussanne for Ruth: Charity Wine Honors Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left behind an inspiring legacy: She was the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, the co-founder of the country’s first legal journal focused on women’s rights, as well as the first woman to be a tenured professor at Columbia Law School, among many other distinctions. And now, Ginsburg’s memory is being honored with a French white wine: Domaine Vintur Ventoux Ruth Limited Edition Special Label 2018, which California-based wine importer Provençal Collective will release Sept. 18, marking the one-year anniversary of Ginsburg’s passing.
“Clearly Justice Ginsburg was an inspiration to many people around the world,” Provençal Collective founder and curator Frank Caterinicchio told Wine Spectator via email. “[She] was revered in France for the same reasons she was loved in America—her ongoing commitment to justice and equality.”
Made by the Southern Rhône’s Domaine Vintur, the organic Roussanne from the Ventoux AOC is priced at $49 and 225 cases were made.
In addition to celebrating Ginsburg’s legacy, the Roussanne will help carry it forward: Provençal Collective is donating at least 10 percent of the wine’s net sales to the American Bar Foundation’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Endowed Fund for Research in Civil Rights and Gender Equality, which supports “scholarship that will engender a more fair, equitable and just future.”
Provençal Collective collaborated on the bottle with the team behind the 2019 documentary Ruth: Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words, made by Oscar-winning director Freida Lee Mock. Each bottle is labeled with an illustrated image of Ginsburg from the movie. “I explained [to Mock] that, much in the same way Mouton-Rothschild [brings] together famous artists … I thought it necessary to highlight the independent filmmakers who create documentaries about celebrated people and events,” said Caterinicchio, “Their important work needs to be recognized and respected. Even if only by a wine label.”
The wine also celebrates Ginsburg’s ties to France, where she is greatly admired not just for her championing of civil rights but also for having used French in some of her court opinions. She also enjoyed parasailing in southern France. After her death, French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to her “fight for justice, gender equality and the respect for human rights.”
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