Food and wine events can help you extend the spirit of Giving Tuesday
Following the shopping frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there really ought to be a Drink Tuesday. But, as it were, it’s Giving Tuesday, a day to spread those dollars even farther, but to a good cause (other than yourself). The spirit of charity doesn’t have to be limited to one day: Certainly supporting a good cause is the gift that keeps on giving. Here are a few ways to support some good works—today and beyond—while enjoying some food and wine diversions.
In Brooklyn, Co-Fermented and The Vinguard, two 501(c)(3) wine-focused advocacy organizations that seek equity and fair representation for LGBTQIA+ communities, are hosting Wine Flare, a natural-wine tasting event with queer winemakers, importers and wines made by LGBTQIA+ identified wine professionals. In its third year—previous events were held in Los Angeles and San Francisco—this year’s edition will be held at Lise & Vito, 126 A Nassau Ave., in the Greenpoint neighborhood, Saturday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 4pm. Importers and producers from California, Italy, New York, Australia, France, New Hampshire are among those who will be pouring. The event-slash-party includes DJ Jules Dressner (aka Santé Motherf*ckers) and a silent auction of wine and other items. Proceeds will go toward funding Wine Flares next year in states with oppressive policies toward LGBTQIA+ communities. Tickets are available on a sliding scale ($20 – $50) here.
Also in New York, on that island next to Brooklyn called Manhattan, the Soupside pop up launches next week and runs through April 20, featuring nine chefs in rotating two-week stints, each with a different recipe. A collaboration between Upside Pizza and Partanna Specialty Foods, the latter a fifth-generation family-owned producer of premium olive oil, a portion of the purchases will support a charity chosen by each chef. The soup’s on from 11 am to 9pm, Tuesday to Sunday, starting Dec. 5. Limited outdoor seating. 51 Spring St., in Nolita. More information here.
Beyond this season, there are vinous ways to give all year ‘round. Co-founded in 2017 by New York City sommelier Yannick Benjamin, Wine on Wheels is an “organization of wine lovers and sommeliers who have come together to harness their love of great wines to benefit charity.” Chief among those causes is supporting people living with disabilities reach their highest potential. Embedded within the organization is The Solera Project, a program that provides skills-based training and employment opportunities for people living with disabilities. Events for 2024 have yet to be announced, but typically include the city’s top sommeliers and a diverse selection of food and wine hospitality—from Michelin recognized restaurants and trendy hot spots to local neighborhood joints (see past listing here).
If you’re a DIY kind of person, you can create your own charitable wine event with Wines for Humanity, a wine-tasting event company that features fine wines for sale, while raising funds for charity. Hosts or “wine advisers” invite fellow oenophiles to a party and help them select bottles for their own enjoyment. Hosts can elect to have 12.5% of the tasting sales support the charity of their choice; otherwise Wines for Humanity donates between 9 and 12.5% of the revenue to a local charity that helps people who are behind in rent and utilities and/or at risk of or who are experiencing homelessness. The organization says money raised through the events has reached nearly $8 million to date.
If you’re both a sports fan and a wine aficionado, then you might look for an Uncork for a Cause event, where pro athletes are the hosts conducting wine tastings that benefit non-profit organizations in their local communities. The company will custom design a label for the event and coordinate hosting it. Established in 2006, past support has included scholarships for children of fallen police officers and fire fighters, wish fulfilments and healthcare research for children, building ADA-compliant homes for disabled service people and more. Athlete hosts include St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt, Milwaukee Brewers’ Corbin Burnes. Tentatively, events are planned for Boston, Denver, Detroit, Milwaukee, Phoenix, St. Louis and Seattle (see schedule here).
For West Coasters, Wine Country Table published this roundup of charitable wine producers, most of whom have national distribution so you can support from afar.