Wine and diabetes advocacy -- go together like PB and jelly, right? Well, maybe it's a new-ish pairing, but one that we're 100% behind.
Say hello to Delaney Blue, a new Sauvignon Blanc wine launched in November 2015 during National Diabetes Awareness Month (and being promoted under the hashtag #Wine4ACure) that helps raise money for type 1 diabetes research.
The wine is named after 19-year-old college student Delaney Friend, whose family is well-versed in wine. Her dad, Vince Friend, has spent decades in the wine-making business in Napa Valley, CA. We're told that experience is what makes Delaney Blue stand out compared to other similar efforts, including pro baseball player Ron Darling's red wine we wrote about a few years back.
We connected with the Friend Family recently via email to get the details. So sit back and enjoy this interview with D-Mom Kathleen Friend (and maybe uncork a good wine, if you're up for it!)
An Interview with D-Mom Kathleen Friend on #Wine4ACure
DM) Kathleen, can you first tell us about your family's story with type 1?
KF) Our youngest daughter Delaney was diagnosed with T1D in 2008 on her 12th Birthday. After her diagnosis, I became involved as a volunteer for JDRF and I'm currently a member of the Board of Directors for JDRF Northern California Inland Chapter and three-year JDRF One Party Gala chairperson.
Where did the idea for a special wine product associated with diabetes come from?
We were in search of a way to help raise money for life-changing diabetes research, education and to improve the lives of individuals living with T1D.
Delaney's father Vince Friend has been a wine industry executive for over 30 years, with his wines selling throughout the United States. We decided that the best way to impact our goals was to combine our passion, skill and experience in the wine industry with our commitment to furthering diabetes awareness and the ultimate goal of finding a cure.
Delaney Blue Wine’s motto is direct and reflective of our goals: INSPIRE • DREAM • HOPE • CURE
OK, please tell us about the wine itself...
It's a fresh and vibrant young white wine -- a Sauvignon Blanc from the renowned Napa Valley. This is a highly popular and growing category of wine and, at the same time, the young and vibrant qualities of the wine mirror those same qualities in our daughter.
This crisp, non-oaky Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile food partner as well as the perfect aperitif. It’s one of the few wines that pair with green vegetables such as asparagus or artichokes. Seafood? That’s a natural. Try it with shrimp kabobs, grilled sea bass and oysters.
Is there a special process to making this wine?
Yes. Our Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc was hand harvested at night once brix levels (amount of sugar in the wine grapes that ultimately determines how much alcohol a wine will have) hit 23° to assure balanced sugar and acidity while bolstering the grapes’ delicate aromatics. Once the fruit arrived at the winery, it was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks (58°F) to enhance the natural citrus notes.
Wow, and the label looks great. Tell us about the name 'Delaney Blue'...?
We thought the color blue was an obvious and powerful platform for label design and as we researched and tested names, we found the combination of our daughter’s name, Delaney, with the word “Blue” was attractive, memorable, positive and has a nice ring to it. Advantageously, blue is also the color of international diabetes advocacy.
So we chose the name Delaney Blue to honor our daughter and help in the marketing of the wine, and also to use in conjunction with diabetes awareness and fundraising beyond just the wine, as well.
What are you planning for 'Delaney Blue' beyond the wine?
We are in the process of forming the Delaney Blue Foundation, which will be the umbrella organization for all of our efforts aimed at helping us all to Inspire • Dream • Hope • Cure by creating #Wine4aCure.
There have been other wines created for a cause. How exactly is Delaney Blue different?
Selling wine is our business, but we have a very different approach than the usual “cause wine marketing” for Delaney Blue. We created this wine specifically to raise money for diabetes awareness and research, not the other way around.
In other words, we are using the wine to raise money, not using the “cause” of diabetes to sell more wine.
Delaney Blue is a family affair with all of our immediate family playing a part: Both of us (Vince and Kathleen) are a part of this, along with daughters Delaney who is 19 years old and a sophomore at Depaul University in Chicago. Our other two daughters are also involved -- Corinne, 21 years old and a senior at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and Michelina, 24 years old and currently living in Australia.
We are “All In” on doing whatever we can to help turn Type 1 into Type None.
How do people get their hands on a bottle to enjoy?
The wine is currently available for sale and shipping to 32 states through our website, DelaneyBlueWine.com. The retail price is $15 per bottle for the Delaney Blue Sauvignon Blanc. Proceeds will go to different diabetes organizations.
In addition to the wine, we have other merchandise for sale with more additions coming soon. We are currently in discussions with several prominent retailers regarding exclusive regional distribution. Additionally, Delaney will be blogging under the heading: My DBlue Life. She has a very positive approach and we are equally excited about her personal role in spreading the message.
Thanks for taking the time, Kathleen, and we can't wait to try out this new vino!