- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Napa Valley vintners pour their best for veterans
Question of the Day
YOUNTVILLE, Calif. — Deb Stallings was more than a little surprised when she found out that budgetary concerns meant that residents of the veterans home in the Napa Valley, one of the world’s most renowned wine regions, were being served wine from - gasp! - out of state.
Not the good stuff, either.
“I’m sure that’s against all the laws of nature,” she said with a laugh.
But wine, usually served at Sunday lunch at the Veterans Home of California, Yountville, is a luxury item, so officials there were limited in what they could provide. And what they could provide wasn’t particularly good.
“We thought that not only should we be able to ensure they got a bit of wine each week, it should be good wine, and it should be provided by the people who live, work and play in this community,” said Mrs. Stallings, whose father-in-law is a resident of the home.
Calling on fellow members of the Unity League, a community service organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members, Mrs. Stallings helped put out an appeal to local vintners to donate wine.
And they responded. Since February, the volunteer effort known as Vintners for Veterans has made sure local wines have made the menu every Sunday.
“Those of us in the Napa Valley [who] learned about it said, ‘We can do better than that,’ ” said Shafer Vineyards’ John Shafer as he watched his premium merlot being poured for veterans during a recent Sunday lunch at the home. “If they’re going to have a veterans home in the Napa Valley, they’re going to have Napa wines.”
A number of wineries already have participated, including Shafer, Staglin Family Vineyard - co-founder Garen Staglin is a Vietnam vet - and Opus One. An early ally was Unity League member Chris Edwards, general manager of WTN Services/Winetasting.com, who offered the use of warehouse facilities to store and transport donated wine.
Unity League volunteers are available to pour the wines, but some wineries are sending their own people to pour and talk to the veterans, making a welcome change from routine.
As nice as it is to get good wine, one of the best things has been the community connection, said Marcella McCormack, administrator for the home. When Mr. Shafer, who flew B-24s out of Britain during World War II, visited, she got to introduce him to a table of vets who had flown the same type of plane.
How are veterans liking the upgrade?
“It’s wonderful,” said David Rosenberg, a World War II veteran who served in the 78th Infantry Division.
Mr. Rosenberg was among those enjoying the Shafer merlot on a recent Sunday, and he was glad to exchange wartime memories with the vintner.
“He was in the same area I was in, only he was thousands of feet above me,” Mr. Rosenberg said.
TWT Video Picks
By Isaac Orr
New carbon-dioxide rules would put America in the dark
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors