Wine and Philanthropy

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR company for Markham Vineyards.

Community activism + wine = Markham’s Mark of Distinction. Three years ago Markham Vineyards began a program called “Markham Mark of Distinction,” inviting charities to apply for a $25,000 grant in order to make a tangible difference in their communities. This year’s nomination period ended on July 31, however, I urge those of you who might be interested to keep the program in mind for next year. At the end of this month voting on the finalists will open, so be sure to check back on the nomination page to vote for the cause you find most inspiring. Past winners have ranged from an organization that delivers perishable food that would otherwise have been discarded to the hungry for immediate consumption to a sled hockey team for the disabled. Through the Mark of Distinction award, these organizations were able to further their missions and provide services directly to their communities.

Every year Markham produces two wines, one to honor each of the past year’s Mark of Distinction recipients. Both are Cabernet Sauvignon, one called the Philanthropist and one called the Altruist. The idea behind the wines is to recognize the recipients and raise awareness of the Mark of Distinction program. The 2007 Markham The Altruist had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $55.

What about the wine? It’s lovely. I’m trying something just a bit different here at Wannabe Wino based on the wineblogger conference I just attended. I heard a lot of murmuring that people (I guess bloggers since that was who was in attendance) don’t want to read tasting notes. I’m not sure that’s entirely true, and my target audience isn’t other bloggers, so it’s really neither here nor there. I’ll put my traditional tasting notes in my tried and true style at the bottom of this post, but lets try a slightly new format just for a moment.

4 takeaways from this wine:

1.) If I could only have this wine for a year I would be perfectly happy to continue sniffing and drinking it. The wine had beautiful aromas and flavors that kept revealing themselves as it aired.

2.) I would pay the price tag for this wine myself.

3.) You should drink it with a marbled steak and finish off the night with a cigar and an after dinner glass, if you’re into that sort of thing. Share it with someone who really appreciates the Napa Cabernet style.

4.) Overall the wine reminded me of walking into a coffee shop that happened to be growing an herb and berry garden in addition to grinding fresh beans and baking coffee cakes.

Now for my traditional notes format. On the nose I found black currants, blackberry, herbs, fresh bay, sage, and plum. In the mouth I got blackberry, black cherry, cream, herbs, bay, espresso notes, and toffee. Nicely integrated tannins and some time in the glass made this a wine I could pair with a good steak or enjoy sipping on its own.