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N.Y. winery introduces 9/11 memorial wine

August 19, 2011|By Deborah Netburn | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

A winery on Long Island has introduced two new wines to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. Before you start rolling your eyes, keep reading: It's not (quite) as bad as you think.

The wines, produced by Lieb Family Cellars, are a 9/11 Memorial Commemorative Merlot, which the winery's website says is barrel-fermented, and a 9/11 Memorial Commemorative Chardonnay, described as having a dominant flavor of fresh green apples and "finishing with a toasty vanilla flavor."

They each retail for $19.11 a bottle if you buy directly from the winery. (The wine will cost more in stores.)

So, what makes these 9/11 wines besides the name and that silly price tag? Well, it's not the winery's proximity to the site of the attacks -- although the descriptions of the wines do note that the grapes were grown "90 miles from the site of the World Trade Center." Instead, the winery plans to give 6% to 10% of the proceeds from the sale of these wines to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

For those who try to keep their wine buying under $10 a bottle, the Lieb Family Cellars offers a less expensive bottle of wine called the September Mission Merlot. This bottle, which can be purchased only through the winery, costs $9.11 a bottle, and the winery donates 91.1 cents of every bottle to the September's Mission foundation.

Yeah, it's a little precious, but all for a good cause.

In a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times, Gary Madden, general manager of the winery, said sales of the 9/11 Memorial Commemorative wines have been off to a slow start, but the winery has had a lot of success with the September Mission Merlot, which it introduced in 2004.

"We've probably donated $25,000 from that wine," he said.

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