There are different classifications of lovers: the almost lover, the nonchalant, the sweet lover, platonic lover. And then there are wine lovers. Oenophiles comes from all walks of life – those who studied it, those who works in the field, those who just drink to drink. Then we have the professional athletes (or those who are all as passionate about wines as they are when inside the playing field).

 

There is nothing new with stories of athletes who simply adore wines. What would be surprising is that there are several famous athletes who jumped into the industry and opened their own brands. Much like their career with sports, one can pretty much say they are already all-stars in the wine world.

 

For die-hard long-time NFL fans, the name Drew Bledsoe is a household name. The former quarterback for New England Patriots, found his next longest yard calling: producing premium wines. Choosing to go back to his roots, Bledsoe opened his own winery, Doubleback, in 2007 at his hometown in Walla Walla Valley, Washington. And he has best reason as to why. His wines are said to harmoniously blend in the great taste and quality of the new world and old world wines. It also doesn’t hurt that his 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon made it to the 2010 Wine Spectators Top 100 List.

 

Pulling up a perfect tee, getting ace after ace, and with 19 tour wins in LPGA, Cristie Kerr is one of the most accomplished professional golfers out there. She is also an ardent advocate for breast cancer awareness and has helped raise millions in funds. But she doesn’t stop there. Her recent venture is to craft small batches of stunning wines harvested and produced from Sonoma and Napa Valley. Falling in love with wines would be an understatement as Kerr has two wineries under her belt: Curvature Wines and Kerr Cellars. Receiving many accolades from critics, such as high-rated RP points for her Reserve vintages, her wineries are definitely something to watch out for! 

 

Bledsoe and Kerr are just some of the many athletes who found passion and success outside their chosen sport. And the list may soon include more professionals opening their own vineyards. A testament that strategy, wits, and the drive to take risk will take you to many heights. 

 

Shooting Hoops with Wine

 

As they say, wines and sports is a perfect pairing. Take for example Lebron James. Well, who haven’t heard his name. From championship to endorsements, he seems to have it all. Starting out in basketball at a young age, James steadily made his mark in the professional playing field. And with his entire life dedicate around basketball, one would thing his next course would also probably fall in the same category.

 

We are in for another surprise. In this recent article from SBNATION, it showed to us another side of Lebron James. His interest in expensive wines. Whether he has sommelier friends or trusts his own palate, James surely has great taste.

 

Sharing on his social media account (such as this one), James showed that his palate is as good as his basketball stunts. Choosing quality over quantity, his selections are described to be worthy of a sommelier, collector, or oenophile’s approving nod. It doesn’t hurt that his wife also has the same inkling for fine wines (as seen on her Instagram account).

 

Some favoured wines of James are from Mayacamas [BUY NOW], Corison [BUY NOW], and Antica Terra [BUY NOW]. Following his palatial taste, here are some of selected best wines for your indulgence.

 

 2014 Mayacamas Vineyards Chardonnay [BUY NOW]

A bright and vibrant chardonnay with sliced apple, pear and cream aromas and flavors. Hints of yogurt and vanilla bean. Long and flavorful. A wonderful white. Drink or hold. - James Suckling

 

 

2012 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon [BUY NOW]

“Bright, deep and supple, this wine offers juicy red currant and cherry. Savory herb notes of rosemary, star anise and lavender provide complexity, while a familiar nose of pencil lead hints at classic wines of the old world. A particularly silky Mayacamas Cabernet, this wine is quite accessible and delicious in it’s youth.”

 

 

2013 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon [BUY NOW]

Top Five Wine of the Vintage: Beautifully perfumed aromas of rose petal, violets, blackberry, dark chocolate and incipient cigar tobacco burst from the glass in a striking array, the prelude to a wine that’s structured around refined, savoury tannins and juicy acidity. An ethereal and classically proportioned Cabernet which will age effortlessly thanks to its flawless balance, likely putting on weight with bottle age. Terrific stuff; not to be missed. (WK).” - Decanter

 

2011 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon [BUY NOW]

This is an absolutely pure example of Napa Valley Cabernet, made the way it was meant to be, classy and elegant with amazing balance and structure. The seductive aromas and flavors of ripe cassis, exotic spices, dried savory herbs, minerals and fresh floral come together beautifully and resonate all the way through the gorgeous finish. This is a brilliant effort from Cathy Corison that is already showing wonderful right now and will certainly continue to evolve. (Best 2015-2027).” – International Wine Report

 

2013 Antica Terra Pinot Noir Antikythera [BUY NOW]

“The 2013 Antikythera Pinot Noir is the only blend exclusively from estate vines, although what found itself in bottle represents just 19% of the total potential crop. It has a real earthiness on the nose with brown spices and gravel-like aromas, rather than overt fruity scents. The palate is medium-bodied with supple red cherry, cranberry and a hint of dried fig, but like the nose, there is an undertow of earthiness. It feels powdery in texture and comes armed with great tension on the finish - an intellectual and enigmatic Pinot Noir that will need a couple of years in bottle to show its true face.” – Neal Martin

 

2014 Antica Terra Angelicall [BUY NOW]

“I love the strawberry and persimmon character to this with spices and dried flowers. Full-bodied yet so fresh and vivid. Dried tea and cream. The tension and brightness are so wonderful. Turn up the volume! Drink now.” – James Suckling

 

Looking for other wines? Visit our Buy Now store for all the selections.