Conscious Consumption Alert: Calistoga’s stylish and thoroughly awesome Tank Garage Winery is making it easy to give a little something while treating yourself to great wine (and sincerely, it’s great wine). Tank Cares, the winery’s new give-back program, singles out some great bottles (and some legitimately cute merch) for inclusion in this program, where proceeds are donated to good causes. Says Tank Garage’s VP of marketing, Ed Feuchuk:
“This isn’t some austere corporate play, our goal with Tank Cares is to help causes that we truly believe in. Our first wine in this initiative, Love Now More Than Ever, we made after the granddaughter of one owner’s neighbor lost her life in the Thousand Oaks shooting of 2018. Proceeds go to her charity, Alaina’s Voice, which advocates for mental health awareness. The proceeds from our wine and vinyl record, Lovers, Dreamers, Fighters & Believers, go to the California Fire Fund, helping people rebuild from the devastating California wildfires of 2017 and 2018. Our third wine, Love & Pride, will raise money for a local LGBTQ+ foundation in need of better funding. While some of these causes may seem polarizing, they are exceedingly important to us.”
All of which would be worth our attention even if the wine were kind of… meh. But it’s not. Tank Garage makes wonderful, artfully produced and fabulously eccentric wines featuring some unusual varietals for a Calistoga winery, much of their fruit is sourced from the Sierra foothills, where you will find plantings of Verdicchio, Semillon, Negroamaro and Tempranillo in addition to widely planted grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon. “Lovers Dreamers, Fighters and Believers” is a Rhone-typical GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre) blend with a splash of viognier, and it’s big on both style and substance. Bouquet and palate both favor dark berries and baking spices, and low tannins and high acidity keep it very broadly food-friendly. That particular wine is raising money for the California Fire Foundation, which provides support for families of fallen firefighters.
“Love Now More Than Ever,” the wine whose proceeds benefit Alaina’s Voice (a foundation that supports mental health initiatives), is a darker, heavier and richer blend featuring Petite Sirah, Charbono, Syrah, Zin and Grenache. It’s basically liquid black velvet.
If Tank Garage has ever made a non-awesome wine, I am not aware of it. Their blends are elegant, stylish and have a quirky edge that makes a welcome respite from palate-boredom in a Cab-dominated world. Their label art is completely next level, making their bottles even more highly giftable, and I’ll go ahead and say they are the only winery from whom I have ever purchased a t-shirt-the fabric was so nice and the cut was so good I momentarily forgot I am allergic to wearing logos. What I’m saying is this is a win-win spot to splurge on some great California wine, for yourself, for a friend, or for the betterment of society. Or all of the above.