Proceeds to benefit Home Base and support mental health resources for veterans

“WE were originally supposed to host this a couple of years ago.”

The this, Chelsea Barnes, wife of Boston Red Sox all-star pitcher Matt Barnes, is referring to is their inaugural  “Uncork for a Cause” charity wine event, benefitting Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program.

On Thursday September 15th at Hotel Commonwealth -following a two year pandemic induced delay- the Barnes’ will be raising their glasses for an evening of wine tasting, community, and delectable food. Like any fine wine that ferments over time, this event too will end up being well worth the wait.

“It’s going to be a nice evening and everyone is going to be able to relax and have a good time together,” Chelsea says.

The event, which will run from 7-9:30pm, features a host of wine donors from prestigious Napa and Sonoma Valley wineries including Christopher Creek, Rio Crest, and more. To top it off, each guest will also receive a complimentary, limited-edition bottle of Matt’s very own Sonoma Reserve red wine, of which only one barrel was produced.

The Matt Barnes Red Blend Reserve has been aging for three years and was assimilated with tasting notes from Matt and Chelsea on their favorite wines.

“It better be good,” Chelsea says laughing. “We haven’t even tasted it yet!”

In addition to the wine, guests will be able to bid on an array of luxury items through both live and silent auctions that include sports collectibles, memorabilia, trips to Napa and Sonoma Valley and custom art by David Garibaldi. All donations and proceeds raised throughout the evening will go directly to Home Base.

“Physical wounds always receive so much attention,” Chelsea, herself a physical therapist, points out. “But invisible wounds often go unnoticed. It’s critical that resources and care are made available for our veterans, who do so much for us. That’s why programs like Home Base are so important and have special meaning to Matt and I.”

Both Matt and Chelsea have family members in the military, and have seen firsthand the challenges veterans face adapting back to “normal life” upon returning to society.

“They (our military) have been hard-wired, almost numb, to do what it takes to protect our country and our freedom,” Chelsea says. “And once they return home, are expected to just pick up and live a regular, functional life. It’s not that easy. We need to do more for our veterans, especially with everything they have sacrificed for us.”

IT’S only fitting Matt and Chelsea’s first charity event hosting together involves wine. Both UCONN graduates, the two first met in 2013 at Huskies, a legendary campus pub, and fast became friends. It wasn’t until 2016 though that they started dating when Chelsea, at the time back home in New Jersey finishing up her doctorate degree at Rutgers, received an email with airline tickets to attend the Red Sox Labor Day Weekend series against the Oakland Athletics… courtesy of Matt. As fate would have it, the Red Sox had an off day built into the series, and Matt set up a day trip to Napa.

“We had the best time ever,” Chelsea says. “(Matt) hired a limo driver, he rented three private wineries, it was absolutely amazing! After that we started talking a ton, and then started dating.”

Needless to say, California holds a special place with the Barnes family.

“We love Napa, we started dating in 2016 in California, the Red Sox won the World Series in California in 2018, and in 2019 we got our dog and named her ‘Cali’” Chelsea reveals smiling.

Now in 2022, Matt and Chelsea Barnes are excited to share their own Sonoma wine -and the good times and memories it represents for them- with the Red Sox organization, family, friends, and guests alike at Uncork for a Cause on July 24th. Raising funds and awareness for veterans and Home Base, makes it all the more meaningful.

Some things are always worth the wait.

To purchase tickets for Matt & Chelsea Barnes Uncork for a Cause on September 15th at Hotel Commonwealth, please click here. To make a donation to help support Home Base and the mental health of our veterans, please click here.

Images courtesy of Chelsea Barnes