Wine, Spirits and Restaurant Industries Step Up for Autism, Black History Month and More

Passing Time winery raises funds for Dan Marino Foundation, Barefoot pledges $50,000 in grants for Black women entrepreneurs, Jameson gives $200,000 to Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation

Wine, Spirits and Restaurant Industries Step Up for Autism, Black History Month and More
Passing Time's Dan Marino and Damon Huard work on their handoff technique. (Courtesy of Passing Time)
Feb 25, 2021

We love a feel-good wine story. And thankfully, the generous members of the wine, spirits and food industries are more than happy to provide them on a regular basis. The charity beat is alive and well!

Ex-NFL QBs Dan Marino, Damon Huard Host Passing Time Wines Virtual Tasting to Benefit Marino Foundation

For those of us still experiencing football withdrawal (not to mention any lovers of outstanding Washington Cabernets out there), NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino and his former backup-turned-winery partner Damon Huard will be participating in a virtual meet-and-greet-and-taste for charity on March 18. Participants will hear from Marino and Huard, as well as winemaker Chris Peterson, and will have a chance to ask questions while tasting a flight of their Passing Time wines.

The virtual tasting is organized by Fort Lauderdale, Fla., retailer Wine Watch, and owner Andrew Lampasone will participate as well. Tickets to the virtual event, including wines, start at $250, and the proceeds will benefit the Dan Marino Foundation, with a minimum donation of $50,000. The Marino Foundation, founded in 1992, has raised more than $84 million to date for its mission to empower those with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Barefoot’s #WeStanForHer Campaign Pledges $50,000 for Black Women Entrepreneurs

Among the many new organizations and legacy institutions working toward a more inclusive wine world in 2020 was Gallo’s Barefoot brand, which launched the #WeStanForHer campaign and donated $82,500 to the New Voices Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women of color entrepreneurs.

This month, Barefoot renewed the campaign, pledging another $50,000 to five Black women entrepreneurs, and will also devote its advertising platforms and resources to amplify the grant recipients' businesses. "Barefoot believes in celebrating all communities and commits to going beyond statements to create a meaningful difference in recognizing the ambitions and resilience of Black women," said Barefoot associate brand manager Shannon Armah in a statement. "In partnership with New Voices Foundation, #WeStanForHer remains an important and powerful example of our commitment to foster community equity and amplify the voices of Black women small business owners and their meaningful experiences." Grant applications will be accepted until Feb. 28.

Cooper’s Hawk Awards 10 Scholarships to Black American Wine Professionals

Earlier this month, Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants announced that the Somm Foundation, a nonprofit committed to assisting aspiring beverage professionals, had selected 10 Black American wine professionals to be awarded with $1,000 scholarships funded by Cooper’s Hawk. The winners will also receive support and mentorship from Master Sommelier and Cooper’s Hawk VP Emily Wines, who is currently serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers. Another round of scholarship recipients will be announced later this year.

Rosé for Cure Sales Benefit Families of Children with Life-Threatening Illnesses

In July 2020, Washington’s Mastrogiannis Distillery and Winery donated a portion of all wine sales proceeds for a month to the family of girl struggling with spinal muscular atrophy, raising more than $2,000. Inspired by the family’s gratitude and relief, winery owners Ilias and Bojana Mastrogiannis created Rosé for Cure, a Syrah-based Washington rosé blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris ($39 per 3-bottle pack), with 10 percent of sales going directly to families of sick children for expenses like medical bills, food and housing.

Take St. Patrick’s Day Off for a Cause with Jameson Irish Whiskey

Last year, Jameson was among the Pernod Ricard brands and partners that donated more than $1.3 million to pandemic relief efforts. Now they want you to take a day off—St. Patrick’s Day, specifically. The #JamesonSPTO St. Patrick’s Time Off campaign will pay 1,000 lucky winners $50 to take the holiday off from work, and will also donate $50 in each winner’s name to the Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation, on top of $150,000 that Jameson will be donating directly to the nonprofit organization. Applications for Jameson St. Patrick’s Time Off are now being accepted. May the luck of the Irish be with us all.


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