Wouldn’t you just kill for a Moet?
Newly-uncovered NRA Web pages, which had apparently been deleted, show how fine French champagne (and America’s top vineyards) are helping to finance America’s extreme lobby. The National Rifle Association, America’s largest pro-gun lobby, has an “NRA Wine Club” where members buy wine and a portion of the proceeds go to finance the NRA’s pro-gun politics.
AMERICAblog has uncovered deleted Web pages showing that the NRA Wine Club, as recently as only two months ago, included such august spirits as famed French champagne maker Moet et Chandon’s world-renowned Dom Perignon.
Oh I can see the protests now: “Dom Perignon, a champagne to die for.” Or “Wouldn’t you just kill for a Moet?”
But it’s no laughing matter. Gun industry expert Tom Diaz, author of the new book, “The Last Gun,” tells me that any company involved with the NRA has “blood on its hands”:
“There is no such thing as innocent commercial involvement with the National Rifle Association. Any company that advertises or shares revenue with the NRA is underwriting gun violence and has as much blood on its hands as Bushmaster Firearms.”
Here’s Moet’s rather expensive Dom 2003 going for a cool $139:
And NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre makes clear in a letter, since removed from the NRA Wine Club Web site (but I found a copy anyway), that sales of Dom Perignon and Beringer via the NRA Wine Club will “directly benefit” the NRA. I wonder how Moet and Beringer fans feel about that.
Here’s LaPierre’s letter that was on the site, but now can only be found in cache:
And here’s the NRA Wine Club front page which, oddly, isn’t nearly as detailed as it used to be. The front page now lists none of the actual wineries included in the deal. But fret not – I found a cached copy of the NRA’s wine list.
Now for the list of wines included in the deal, that are no longer live online. The list includes Moet et Chandon’s Dom Perignon, Beringer, and a rather pricey Louis Roederer champagne. And according to the cache header, this is a copy of the page as it appeared on November 27, 2012 – so that means this was only two months ago:
The NRA has teamed with a company called Vinesse that works with several wine clubs. In this case, NRA members and others can join the “American Cellars Wine Club,” and reportedly a donation goes to the NRA with each bottle purchased:
“Begin supporting the NRA with your wine purchases today!” reads the strapline on the club’s website.
The Drinks Business is reporting, a few other wines included in the NRA club, and one of the winemakers was none too pleased about it:
According to Australian newspaper the Herald Sun, Yalumba has quickly distanced itself from the controversial US National Rifle Association after it emerged that it was one of 20 Australian producers sold via the group’s wine club.
The privately owned company is currently investigating how four of its wines made it onto the NRA’s profit-making club – a donation from every bottle of wine purchased through the club goes to the NRA to support its battle to preserve the Second Amendment.
Among the other Australian producers selling their wines via the NRA Wine Club are St Hallett, Jim Barry Wines, d’Arenberg, Tahbilk, and Primo Estate.
Champagne lovers can pick up Louis Roederer Cristal 2005 at $199.95 a bottle, or Dom Perignon 2003 for $139.99, and weapons enthusiasts might like to pop the cork in traditional style using a Laguiole Champagne sabre ($149.95).
Of course the biggest irony is that some reviewers already say not to try the American Cellars Wine Club, even before the NRA connection went public. Imagine what’s going to happen now.
I’d be surprised if Moet et Chandon and Beringer, among other big vintners, weren’t concerned about being associated with the NRA. Especially now that an Australian winemaker has pulled out.