Wine + Conscious Global Development? Pour Me Another

Developing countries produce at least 25 percent of the world’s wine. Only seen Argentinian wines on the shelf? That’s because barriers to entry here are so incredibly high that winemakers from most emerging markets—even the most talented ones—can't get their wines to the United States.
That's where we come in. Wine for the World is a premium, collaborative wine brand with a social mission. We partner some of the best U.S. winemakers with talented winemakers from developing countries to build bridges and open markets. We’re helping talented winemakers abroad and their emerging wine regions create inroads in the U.S, and contributing to economic development and professional opportunity by helping consumers do what they already love to do: explore.
By partnering with great U.S. winemakers, we guarantee to consumers that the wine quality will be high, which drives confidence in buying wines from developing countries—making it easier to take a small leap of faith.
Why wine? Impact—both in numbers and sense.
Here are numbers: Wine for the World provides support at different levels in the value chain to reduce those barriers to entry—both from the producer side and from the consumer side. By providing assurance to help drive wine sales in new regions, we are shifting consumer perceptions about wines from developing countries.
The economic impact can be profound. Using South Africa as an example, if our marketing efforts help increase the South African industry's wine market share in the U.S. from 1 percent to 1.2 percent, over five years we can help contribute $100 million to the South African economy alone. By the way, this is absolutely attainable. Argentina’s wine industry boomed from 1.9 percent to 5.7 percent in the same period of time. We’re trying to be the launch pad.
And here’s the sense: Wine lets us discuss, and wine can be used to challenge. People love to share stories, including stories about wine. We like to know and talk about where a product comes from, how it is made, and who makes it. Our story is about international partnership—about the desire to work together to produce a beautiful product, and about opportunity. Perhaps if a product as sophisticated as wine can come from a developing country, and be high quality, it will challenge Americans' thoughts about what is made in that region, and get us to think about what else can be (and is) produced.
My background isn’t in wine. It’s in international development. I have a strong passion for wine (yes, also drinking it; I thank my grandfather for that), and have tried to reconcile international development and wine for several years. Lucikly for me, I have found talented partners are excited to use their skills to give back to the wine industry abroad.
We designed a wine label that is totally unique. It is sleek, collaborative, and helps you get to know the winemakers. You can see our label and hear why our winemakers are excited, and help us reach our fundraising goal on Indiegogo page.\n

Wine for the World - Building Bridges in the Wine Industry from Wine for the World on Vimeo.

via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

Keep Reading Show less
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?


Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

Keep Reading Show less
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less