Drink Up (Red or White), Save the National Parks
When confronted with huge budget shortfalls the likes of which the national parks are facing from sequestration, there are usually two distinct, mutually exclusive solutions: Get down to the hard business of fundraising and parsing individual cuts, or throw your hands in the air and hit the bottle.
Now, though, you can actually help the national parks by drinking wine. The National Park Foundation, in an apparently earnest effort at scraping together any cash possible to close up budget gaps, has licensed the name "National Parks Wines Collection" to California's Adler Fels Winery in exchange for $2 from every $17 bottle sold. So far, the winery has turned two varietal blends—a red (Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot and Petite Sarah) featuring a Mark Burns photo of Yosemite's El Cap and a white (Viognier, Moscato, Symphony, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc) with Burns's black-and-white of Half Dome.
The "sequestration" cut chopped 5 percent from the National Parks Service's annual budget, causing major cuts to some of the system's crown jewel parks, including $1.75 million from Yellowstone, $1.4 million from Yosemite and $1 million from Grand Canyon National Park. The wine deal is a noble—if odd—crack at bridging some of those gaps, and one we raise our glass to.