sporty grape

the $64,000 nfl rookie dinner

Before the football season begins every year, it’s a tradition for rookies to pick up (at least part of) the tab for the veteran players who go to dinner with them. Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant told people he was pissed off when he was rookie and had to pick up the dinner tab in 2010 – a bill that totaled $55,000!

Apparently the tradition is alive and well on the Eagles. On June 6, the Eagles’ rookie offensive tackle Lane Johnson tweeted a pic of his $17,000 team dinner receipt at Del Frisco’s with the caption “Rookie dinner.”

johnson rookie dinner

A week later, Eagles offensive guard Evan Mathis tweeted this pic – with the biggest tab of all:

photo 1

I find it interesting that they drank the exact same wines at each dinner (literally down to the vintages). I’ve got to assume that the sommelier at Del Frisco’s knows what wines pair well with not only steak but football player palates. I’ve also got to assume that he or she gets very excited about the whopping tip they make off of these rookie dinners as they cart out some killer bottles (unlike this PYT waiter who served LeSean McCoy on Monday). But who knows – maybe there’s one big grapefriend on the Eagles who recommends the following wines for everyone to order. Let’s assess the choices:

Hess Cabernet Allomi Vineyard

I’m assuming this was just a glass since a bottle of this costs about $25 in a store. Looks like someone at that dinner couldn’t wait for the bottles to be brought out while everyone else sucked down their Remy Martin & Crown Royal cocktails.

Harlan Estate 2006

This producer makes what they call Cult Cabs: highly sought-after and highly-expensive Cabs from Napa. The starting price is usually in the $300-400 range but goes up like crazy from there. You basically have to be on the mailing list to get one, otherwise you’re relegated to getting a jacked-up price at auction. I’ve never had it myself, but the 2006 got 96 points from Robert Parker if you’re into going by those sorts of things.

Shafer Cab, Hillside Select 2009

Large format! A 3-liter bottle, equivalent to 4 regular-sized bottles of wine, is called a Jeroboam. A normal bottle will set you back about $250 at retail. But talk about a rookie – you don’t want to drink Napa Cab this young.

Screaming Eagle Cab, 2005

Another Cult Cab, and probably one of the most famous ones at that. 2005 is known as one of the best recent vintages in Napa, and only 400 cases of Screaming Eagle were produced. I’m actually surprised they sell it at Del Frisco’s for only $3,495, since a bottle at retail (if you can even find one) is about $2,500. Someone knew what they were doing with this one.

Final score: Snore, guys! I get that you’re eating steak and I do love a Cab/steak pairing, but all Napa Cabs? With those prices they could’ve gotten some pretty awesome Brunellos or even Rhone reds. Eagles fans better hope these guys have more depth in their plays than they do in their wine choices.

BREAKING UPDATE: Forget this whole 64k thing! Evan Mathis himself just tweeted me with this link about how he did his whole receipt as a prank! That is freaking hilarious. The 17k one was real, but I’ll go hang my head as a remiss reporter and just give you this link with the whole amazing story: http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/06/13/evan-mathis-trolls-media-with-fake-del-friscos-receipt/

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