Six-time Grammy Award–winning trio Black Eyed Peas is banding together with Barefoot Wine for a new charity initiative for the kids. NFL legends Ronnie Lott, Marcus Allen and Charles Haley are hosting a tasting for a cause with Jackson Family Wines. Boutique wineries are getting in the spirit too, especially in pledging proceeds to aid victims of the West Coast wildfires. In a difficult year, wineries continue to come through for those in need.
Barefoot Wine's new partnership offers something for lovers of wine, music and philanthropy: An exclusive mix of the Peas' latest single, "Vida Loca," can be snagged in the form of a Barefoot augmented-reality (AR) music experience, which in turn supports Children of Restaurant Employees, a national nonprofit providing financial relief to COVID-impacted food and beverage employees, and the American Cancer Society.
Here's how it works: Shoppers scan a QR code on Barefoot's "Band Together" displays in retail locations and on Barefoot bottles. Every logo scanned activates different vocals and instrumentals from the new track, eventually putting together the full song and animated visuals; there's also a chance to win a virtual meet-and-greet with the group. Each scan notches a $1 donation from Barefoot parent company E. & J. Gallo Winery to the charities.
“It's been great ‘banding together’ with Barefoot to bring this exciting augmented-reality music experience to their community and our fans," will.i.am, founding member of the Peas, told Unfiltered via email. "We were attracted to Barefoot’s sense of fun, casual vibe and inclusivity, as well as their continued commitment to helping others during a time when nonprofits are urgently in need of donations."
Jackson Family Wines is getting an all-star roster for a virtual wine tasting for charity, including pro football Hall of Famers Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley and Marcus Allen. The "Untold and Unforgettable" tasting will also include Master Sommelier Michael Jordan in the virtual wine huddle on Sept. 23, and will benefit All Stars Helping Kids, Lott's organization that provides funding for Bay Area nonprofits for children.
"It's been really great to get to know Jackson Family Wines and we've done a lot of philanthropic work together," Lott told Unfiltered. "Wine is about being able to sit around and tell stories and talk about the great moments of your life, and hopefully we'll be able to do that."
Lott told us he first got into wine during his rookie year in San Francisco, when a sommelier introduced him to Grgich Hills Chardonnay, and now, the former safety and his wife make their own Merlot and Cabernet at their San Jose home.
Back in the '80s and '90s, Lott and Haley were teammates on the 49ers, and played against former Oakland Raider Allen, so the trio have a history. Registrants for the event will get to watch the football legends reminisce and share stories from their professional football careers while enjoying JFW wines like the Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon, La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot and WillaKenzie Willamette Valley Chardonnay. The registration fees and 10 percent of all wine sales will go to Lott's charity, which he started more than 30 years ago.
"The idea was that every kid should have a chance to be an all-star," Lott said. "We've always had the idea that we can allow somebody to see themselves do better, and we've seeded local nonprofits that help children grow."
The wildfires that continue to rip through the West Coast have endangered wineries, and the potentially disastrous effect of smoke taint on the grapes remains to be fully seen. But more catastrophically, the fires have claimed more than 30 lives so far and forced tens of thousands from their homes in California, Oregon and Washington.
As it does in times of crisis, the wine industry is stepping up to help victims get back on their feet. The Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains organization announced the release of a new Mountain Collection last week, featuring eight sets of three wines each from the region, with different boxes themed to, for example, Bordeaux styles and white wines. A portion of the proceeds from sales, which will run through Nov. 15, will be donated to the Fire Response Fund administered by the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.
Up in Oregon, R. Stuart & Co. Winery announced that a portion of sales of its Love, Oregon Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the latter of which has just been released for the 2018 vintage, will benefit the Red Cross Cascades Region through the month of September; the organization is providing aid to those in the region displaced by the fires.
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