Saturday, January 16, 2010

Are You Tough Enough To Drink Purple Cowboy?

Recently I received a bottle of wine called Purple Cowboy. It was a handsome bottle. Bordeaux style dark green glass with a nice dark purple logo of a cowboy riding a bronco hard. The label was attractive enough, but I just didn’t know if I should trust it. Today, after walking by the bottle at least 100 times, I decided to do some research and then open the bottle to find out a little more about Purple Cowboy wine.

In order to talk about Purple Cowboy, I need to tell you a story about its maker. In 2004 a wonderful lady by the name of Terry Wheatley started an organization called Tough Enough To Wear Pink. Terry, a breast cancer survivor came up with the dream that at the NFR in Las Vegas wouldn’t it be great if all of these incredibly tough cowboys, their horses, and even the organizers would wear pink for one day of the competition.

This concept became a dream, and now a growing reality as Tough Enough To Wear Pink has now become one of the biggest draw days for rodeos all over the world. On Wednesday, December 10th of 2008 the NFR was a sea of pink from end to end.

Now, let’s talk about Purple Cowboy. Mrs. Wheatley being a rodeo mom and wife has also helped pay the family bills by working in the wine industry for many years. In Paso Robles, in the heart of California’s South Central Coast, the region has been in a long transition from farming and ranching to becoming one of the greatest Syrah regions in the world. The annual heat elements and good water sources have made the AVA affectionately known as the region of the “Rhone Rangers”.

With Purple Cowboy, Terry has melded her love for rodeo with her love and ambition for wine. From a recent press release Wheatley says “The cowboys I know love dark red wines – the kind that make your teeth purple”. Wheatley made the wine in that dark style. A mixture of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Syrah, 6% Merlot, and a balance of other reds were fermented in stainless using pump-over techniques to bring extra darkness to the juice.

As I pour the wine into the glass I am reassured that the wine is definitely a dark red by how ruby deep it is in the glass. The nose is of blackberries and ripe Bing cherries and cola. It reminds me of Cherry Coke as a kid. This ready-to-drink wine hits the palate with an explosion of berries, and warm vanilla on the finish. I would pair this wine with a nice rib steak or burgers on the grill any time. Actually, I’m thinking spicy short ribs with corn and beans.

A couple of things I need to let you know about Purple Cowboy before I close. Foremost, the profits from the sale of this wine are to raise funds for the Tough Enough To Wear Pink organization. If you have any connection to someone struggling now or in the past with breast cancer I highly suggest that you buy a bottle to support this great cause. Also, it is my understanding that Purple Cowboy is going to be at the Roundup this year for the 100th. My hope is to share a glass of Purple Cowboy with Terry Wheatley in my pink shirt and hat this fall!



  1. This is my new favorite wine!!!

  2. this has been my favorite wine. now that i know its background, it's even more special!!
    love it. hard to find though. i will try to buy a case or 2 online today.

  3. Well here goes. Ready to take my first sip.......

  4. Discovered it this past August...LOVE IT!!!! And, I am known as the Purple Lady!!!

  5. Target sells this wine...thats where I have gotten it for the past 2 years.

  6. I found this wine quite by chance and bought it for my radiation oncologist who is a tenacious redhead herself and does a lot of public talks to educate the public about breast cancer and is a big supporter and empowerer of women fighting this condition (and men, too). However, as a medical doctor she was unable to recommend that I follow the information I later found online about red wine, especially Pinot Noir, in reducing side effects of radiation treatment. One study from Italy said that skin lesions could be reduced by 75%. (I had terrible skin reactions). But, because this study was from outside the USA and doctors must follow FDA and other national guidelines of their profession, I was left with pain, suffering and skin damage that I might have avoided had I known to look online about common studies since 2009 about the benefits of red wine in particular for preventing cancers of many types, and for using during radiation treatment. One study said to drink one glass of red wine before each radiation treatment to receive benefit.
    I was saddened to learn that I had missed out on this important information and suffered needlessly. Therefore, I am determined that others not have the same experience as me so I am trying to let everyone know the truth. My doctor not only loves and drinks wine herself, but her family grows Pinot Noir grapes. I wish her family had started an organization like you did to promote breast cancer and wine awareness, and to donate wine to patients and not just to fundraisers for research. I will let you know what my tenacious redheaded doctor has to say about your wine and what she paired it with. She's a top notch radiation doctor, a caring woman and a fan of wines. Let's see if we can bump her up a notch without jeapordizing her medical license. I told her that I want to do everything I can to put her out of the breast radiation business and she agreed that she would be happy to never have to radiate another woman and her breasts again. Last week the Irish Times had a report of an Irish MD who found a "poison pill" which will kill breast cancer cells without harming healthy ones. I'd love to have taken a pill with a glass or red wine and been done with my treatment. Red wine is now back in my daily diet with a meal....I had gotten into hoppy beers and maybe that's why I got the cancer, by not having red wine with meals as I was raised to do as a child in French Canada. Hope you'll come out with a Pinot Noir soon, too.

  7. Tenacious Red!! None finer!!
    -Tough enough from Maine


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