A recent article by Eric Asimov in the New York Times began, “There’s a joke going around West Coast wine circles, 'What’s the difference between a case of syrah and a case of pneumonia? You can get rid of the pneumonia.' ”
Pneumonia expert Dr. Orin Levine of Johns Hopkins Medical Center saw the article and posted this response on the Huffington Post:
"In recognition of World Pneumonia Day 2010, which will take place November 12, I am asking all winemakers and wine retailers to contribute $10 from every case of Syrah they sell in November to the GAVI Alliance, and asking American wine drinkers to make Syrah their wine of choice in November."
"Pneumonia is the leading killer of children around the world, with more than 100 million serious cases in kids occurring every year, over 1.5 million of which are fatal. Safe and effective vaccines and treatments can eliminate at least half the cases of fatal pneumonia in children. Systems in developing countries exist to deliver these vaccines and treatments. The major obstacle is a lack of funding to purchase them for the children who urgently need them."
"So, let's get rid of pneumonia cases while drinking Syrah."
The intrepid board of directors at the Rhone Rangers answered the challenge and is coordinating a pledge drive to gather donations from case sales of syrah in the month of November.
I don't yet have a link to participants who are NOT Rhone Rangers, so if you know of such a link, or if you are participating directly with the Gavi Alliance pledge, please announce your participation here and we'll support you!