With all the athletes and coaches who love wine you really have to wonder why fans always drink beer. Last Football Week we heard about a ton of past NFL dudes who now make their own wine, plus we know those three former Packers dig their Napa Cab. But the gridiron grapefriends just keep pouring in (no pun intended).
They all seem to make Cab but at least this guy isn’t doing it in Napa. Former Panthers wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Keyshawn Johnson is making XIX wine, from the Oregon part of the Columbia Valley. The first release, out this month, is a 2007 Cabernet and goes for $125 a bottle (maybe this is why fans don’t drink it!). “I’ve enjoyed wine for years and for me, Cabernet is king,” Johnson said. BTW, the wine was originally called KJ1, but seeing as it was too close to Kendall Jackson he changed it to XIX (19 was Johnson’s number on the Carolina Panthers).
Buuuuuut back to Napa… Rick Mirer was on the San Francisco 49ers and then the Oakland Raiders (who do training camp in Napa – talk about a whole team of grapefriends!). Now retired, Mirer started the Mirror Wine Company (a play on his last name) four years ago. The 2007 Mirror Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is $75 and the 2010 Mirror Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is $24, though they’re mostly sold through the winery’s mailing list.
Former Bears coach Mike Ditka has relaunched his Mike Ditka Wines, which now include eight wines that reflect an aspect of his career: “The Player” (Merlot and Pinot Grigio), “The Coach” (Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc), “The Hall of Famer” (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), “The Icon” (Cabernet Sauvignon) and “The Champion” (red blend). They range from $14.99 for “The Player” to $49.99 for the “Icon” and “Champion” labels.
Play on, grapefriends!