The NRA has a wine club?

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:

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 5.04.39 PMAnd here’s Beringer’s expensive $100-a-bottle cabernet is listed as well:

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 5.04.45 PM

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:

nra-wine-club-letter

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.

First, the current home page:

NRA Wine Club

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:

nra-wine-club-wines

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:

220px-Dom-perignon_logoThe NRA is recruiting new members through its Wine Club, with a donation from every bottle of wine purchased going to the organisation to support its battle to preserve the Second Amendment.

“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:

moetAccording 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.

Other wines being offered via the NRA Wine Club:

Beringer_logoHundreds of wines are available through the site, from a Campo de Borja Garnacha at US$6.99 right up to Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Insignia 2008 at $159.99.

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.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • josephebacon

    Yesirree! Drink a pint of Boone’s Farm before you pick up the gun! What could go wrong?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    If it’s the NRA’s own private wine club then why does the NRA home page say “Join the American Cellars Wine Club,” which is a well-known wine club?

    And I’m not blaming the vintners, I am however expecting them to be just as responsible as the vintner from Australia who asked that their wine be removed.

    And finally, don’t throw words like libel around – I’m a lawyer. Find me one thing that that’s factually wrong in this. (And then find me malice.)

  • N in LA

    JOHN, YOU GOT THIS TOTALLY WRONG! The NRA is using Vinesse (aka the American Cellars Wine Club) to private label a wine club for them. Vinesse does the exact same thing for United Airlines and others. Vinesse is an online retailer and shares a portion of their sales with the clubs and companies who use them to front a wine club. Like any other retail wine store, Vinesse carries brands from Dom Perignom, Moet, and Beringer and others that they either purchase directly or wholesale. You are blaming the vintners for the actions of a retail reseller that is several steps removed (exporter, importer, distributor, wholesaler, retailer). I love your blog, but you got your basic facts wrong and jumped to an unfair conclusion. If this leads to a boycott, you could be liable for trade libel of the brands you are disparaging. You need to do a better job of being part of the fact-based community.

  • HeartlandLiberal

    My comment via their web page:

    My wife and I have always enjoyed your wines as among the best domestics. We will now no longer purchase your wines, after reading of your support of the NRA through advertising and sell of your wines. The NRA has blood on their hands, and so do you. Do not get me wrong, I have a license to carry in Indiana, and I do. I believe in the right to own hand guns, rifles, and shotguns. But the NRA does not represent me. They represent the gun manufactures, and far right wing crazies who think they need arsenals of automatic assault weapons and 30 round magazines. All such military grade equipment must be only in hands of military and law enforcement. All all sales even at gun shows must be subject to waiting period and background checks. When was the last time you could drive a car without registering it? BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS.

  • Badgerite

    NO WINE FOR YOU!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Lumry/1078456243 Scott Lumry

    I’ve contacted Beringer to see why they are supporting such work. I’ve used their wines frequently, but will make other choices depending on their response.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Beringer Whine Club: Napa Cabernet with high notes of field cow pie and rancid thistle, with graceful overtones of boot mud,wild licorice and cop killing lead.. Only $105.00.

  • Naja pallida

    OT: Federal Appeals Court declares Obama’s recess appointments unconstitutional, because the Senate’s only “official” recess is at the end of a session. Despite, Dog knows how much precedent already set, including Bush’s appointment of John Bolton. Senator Cornyn has already been bragging on Twitter about it, completely without irony that the Senate has been completely abdicating its responsibility to address hundreds of vacancies in Presidential appointments. From judges to important agencies lacking directors. All because the Republicans in the Senate refuse to give Obama anything. Even a functioning government.

  • Naja pallida

    Odd, they seem more like a Mad Dog 20/20 crew.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Ha!~ I hadn’t even thought of that one.

  • Cletus

    Makes sense, actually. They can line the empties up on their shooting range out back behind the trailer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lindsay.hirsch.94 Lindsay Hirsch

    Oh, great…NRA is actively ENCOURAGING drinking and shooting ! As if we didn’t need further proof of their BizarroWorld tendencies…

© 2014 AMERICAblog News. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS