Survival Wine: Woodsman Collection Comes With Arrowheads, Bullets, Paracord, and More | GearJunkie

2023-01-05 15:39:01 By : Mr. Julian Pang

December 23, 2022 |  By Adam Ruggiero

Survival expert and Alone contestant Mark D’Ambrosio saw an opportunity to change the way people think about — and enjoy — good wine.

My favorite part of buying a good bottle of wine has to be the free ammunition. Obviously, the tailor-made adventure itinerary and gear manifest is a close second.

Oh, and drinking it is fine, too.

This is the experience of drinking Woodsman wines. The brainchild of Mark D’Ambrosio, a professional mountain survival expert — perhaps better known for his role on the extreme reality survival show Alone (season 7) — Woodsman wine offers up some unique perks beyond just the joys of a good vintage.

“The taste of the wine is an added benefit, but it is not the purpose of the wine,” D’Ambrosio told me. That may sound like an odd business model, but that’s because the 37-year-old former Marine reconnaissance scout sniper isn’t so much in the wine business as he is in the outdoor adventure business.

Less than one year old, Woodsman wine is dedicated to getting its customers outdoors and equipping them for a memorable time. Each bottle has a QR code with an idea for an approachable, fun outdoor experience that includes planning tips, a gear list, and food pairing ideas.

What’s more, each varietal comes with its own piece of survival kit — so if all heck broke loose, you’d have a fightin’ shot of getting out the hard way!

Currently, Woodsman offers four varieties, three reds and one white. Each bottle costs $50-60, what D’Ambrosio calls “mid-tier.” And all of the wines carry their own adventure plan and a unique tether to the outdoors.

The Hunter bottle has a Nosler precision rifle bullet and is wrapped with 550 paracord. It makes for a cool-looking bottle, but make no mistake — you can use these tools.

“You can load it and take an elk with it,” D’Ambrosio said. And the 550 cord is an ideal companion for bushcraft — use it to build a shelter or strap cargo.

Or, put it to work on one of the Woodsman adventures. D’Ambrosio hopes some folks will create a bow drill with a stick and the cord, and then use the indentation in the bottom of the bottle as a socket. From there, you’re most of the way to starting an authentic, primitive friction fire.

Check Price at The Woodsman Selection

White meat pairs well with white wine. Not only does The Angler complement fish at the dinner table, but it’ll also help you catch the damn thing.

This bottle comes with a wooly bugger lure, what D’Ambrosio calls “the best fly for every fish that eats another fish — fresh water or salt.”

Wrapping the neck of this bottle is enough string to make a basic Tenkara rod, and you can even use the cork as a bobber.

Check Price at The Woodsman Selection

Looking for just a general-purpose wine? Go for a blend. Likewise, The Woodsman offers up some general-purpose tools.

The miniature axe on this bottle is really a ferro rod — scrape it with any sharp object to throw a spark. And to really improve your odds of starting some backcountry fire, The Woodsman is wrapped with jute, one of the best fibers for catching fire.

Heck, if you’re really in a pinch, chug the wine, break the bottle, and use that to make your spark.

Check Price at The Woodsman Selection

If D’Ambrosio’s nascent collection had a headlining vintage, it would be his cab franc. He’ll admit he’s not a “wine guy,” but when he tried this variety for the first time, he knew he liked it.

As such, this wine has a special and more ornamental gift. Building a traditional bow is another adventure D’Ambrosio has notched, so there’s some basic bowstring up for the task.

But the stone point arrowhead, though technically capable in a real bind, is not designed to take game. It’s more of a token and a reminder to get outside and live life.

Check Price at The Woodsman Selection

The Woodsman Collection is still in its early stages, but D’Ambrosio is already looking ahead at building more adventures and more extras. For the year to come, he’s looking at more outdoor-ready and price-accessible options with $20-30 wines in aluminum bottles.

And at the other end of the spectrum, he’s literally building premium offerings for those who want something extra special. The Woodsman Box Set contains one of each bottle inside a handmade box.

Handmade by D’Ambrosio’s staff of three: “Me, myself, and I,” he joked.

In addition to the wine and souvenir box, this gift set includes two tumblers, two coasters, two marshmallow sticks for roasting, and a nifty Ah-So wine opener to preserve the cork — all for $599.

And for folks who simply cannot get enough adventure — or wine — The Woodsman Collection has three tiers of its subscription service Wine Club: The Explorer, The Adventurer, and (my personal favorite) “American As F@ck.”

Each of these subscriptions comes with exclusive access to adventures and backcountry retreats — with the man himself. And no matter what, D’Ambrosio wants folks to know, it’s about more than just fancy-schmancy vino:

“Some people may like it and some people won’t, but everybody will love the adventure,” he said. “But that wine will taste that much sweeter outside, after one of these adventures.”

Learn more about the wine and get some for yourself at The Woodsman Collection.

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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