Distributor, Restaurant Partner On Wines With Worthy Cause

Distributor, Restaurant Partner On Wines With Worthy Cause

OCEAN CITY – Drink a glass of wine and save a life at an animal shelter both locally and across the nation.

Maryland wine wholesaler and importer Reliable Churchill has partnered with Buxy’s Salty Dog Saloon in Ocean City to support a wine with a worthy cause.

Chateau La Paws is a wine brand by Diageo Chateau & Estates located in the heart of the wine-growing region of Central California. Inspired by a love for dogs, the brand was not only created to taste great as an affordable everyday wine but to also give back to a cause close to many hearts — no kill animal shelters, such as the Worcester County Humane Society in West Ocean City.

Dennis Scurci of Reliable Churchill explained Chateau La Paws was originally developed by veterinarian Dr. Kent Rosenblum.

“Rosenblum also had a passion for wine. He had this unbelievable sense of smell, and being a vet he thought it was a curse. It wasn’t until he and his wife moved to California and started making wine when he realized what a gift he had,” Scurci said. “Rosenblum Cellars is a really well-known zinfandel producer, one of the top three in the country … and with his [Dr. Rosenblum] natural affinity for animals, dogs in particular, he created Chateau La Paws.”

After some time, Rosenblum sold the brand to Diageo Chateau & Estates, which strongly believed in the La Paws cause.

In 2015, Chateau La Paws and Diageo Chateau & Estates will be donating $100,000 to North Shore Animal League America (NSALA), which is the world’s largest no kill animal shelter, to help fund the work it does to rescue, nurture and adopt as many dogs as possible.

“They [NSALA] reach across the country to pull from overcrowded animal shelters to either redistribute to other shelters, place animals in foster care or be adopted all to prevent animals from being euthanized,” Scurci said.

Since 1944, NSALA has saved over a million innocent dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens. It provides a wide range of services for residents of the New York Metropolitan/Tri-State area, including a pet adoption center and pet health dog training services.

Some national statistics Scurci shared is there are 56 million households in the United States that have a pet, which is about 68 percent of all households.

In the pet industry, money spent by consumers has gone from $23 billion to over $55 billion in the past 10 years. That is more that the nation spends on video games, music and movies combined. Ninety-two percent of pet owners spent the same or more on their pets during the recent recession period.

Additionally, of the eight million pets entered into shelters each year, 2.7 million are euthanized.

On a local level, Chateau La Paws has partnered with Reliable Churchill, which will donate $10,000 to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS).

“When we do these types of things, we have found out that it is more beneficial to give a flat donation because if it doesn’t reach expectations they don’t receive as much,” Scurci explained. “Next year we will review sales and will probably raise that flat donation, especially with this brand because it has really picked up steam because of the cause.”

According to BARCS, more than 11,000 unwanted, abused and stray animals enter their doors each year. BARCS was recognized as a non-profit in July 2005. Between 2004 and 2005, adoptions rose from just 90 to 738. By 2013, through adoption and new life saving programs, the number of pet lives saved rose to over 8,600.

The average cost for animal care at BARCS is $240 per animal. In total, it spends about $35,000 on approximately 70,000 pounds of food, $30,000 for 25 tons of litter and $410,000 in medical care a year.

Reliable Churchill approached Doug “Buxy” Buxbaum, owner of Buxy’s Salty Dog Saloon, to have Worcester County become involved. It seemed only natural for the establishment to become involved, Scurci said.

“It took them 10 seconds to start the story and I knew I was in,” Buxy said. “In this business everybody has a story, but this story sticks out. This is something that has legs, or four legs, under it. We have embraced it and are fortunate Reliable Churchill brought us on board. We look forward to carrying all three wines as our house wines this year.”

Buxy’s Salty Dog Saloon is selling Chateau La Paws by the glass and vows to donate at least $1,000 to the Worcester County Humane Society but has also partnered with Atlantic Beverage Center (ABC) on 50th Street and Wine Rack on Route 50 in West Ocean City to have the wine distributed by the bottle locally.

“We are trying to spread this to the Eastern Shore by bringing in Worcester County,” Buxy said. “We will embrace this all year and hopefully will be able to reciprocate every year to the humane society. I will keep it going. It has its own legs to keep it running, no pun intended.”

Chateau La Paws comes in three flavors perfect for pairing with everyday meals. The Chardonnay is rich with pineapple, green apple and vanilla notes. The Red Wine Blend is a medium bodied mixed-breed with dark cherry and raspberry notes, and the Pinot Noir has a big and bold pedigree with cherry, strawberry and mocha notes. All the dogs featured on the labels are from the NSALA.

For more information, visit Chateau La Paws website at www.chateaulapaws.com or to become involved locally visit Salty Dog Saloon or contact Reliable Churchill for more information.

“If people can buy wine, and feel good about it that is a win-win,” Scurci said.