Showing posts with label celebrities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label celebrities. Show all posts

Monday, June 4, 2018

Basketball Meets Wine In Israel

Former NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire has a thing for Israel.  He also has a thing for wine.  Stoudemire finished his career playing basketball for Hapoel Jerusalem.  He owns a chunk of the team and won a championship with them in 2017.  He had been in talks for three years about making wine in Israel before moving there and grabbing his chance. 

The Stoudemire Grand Reserve Capernaum is produced by the Tulip Winery, from grapes grown in its vineyards in Kfar Tikva, in Israel's north.  It carries the Galilee appellation.  The wine's label points out that Noah was the first recorded viticulturist.  After the flood, the good book says, "he planted a vineyard."

Half Cabernet Sauvignon and half Petit Verdot, Capernaum is aged for 24 months in French oak barrels, hits 14% abv and is priced as lofty as a slam dunk, at $100 per bottle.  It's kosher, and is distributed by the Royal Wine Company

This Israeli wine could fool me into thinking it was from Napa Valley.  The nose shows black fruit, a bit of tar, sweet oak and a touch of graphite.  The palate is bold and very Napa-esque on its own.  The darkness flows through the flavor profile as with the aromas.  It's a rich and heady wine that probably needs a bit of time to show its full potential.  The young tannins are toothy and beg for red meat off the grill. 

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Super Bowl Wine

Did this about 7 years ago. The landscape has probably changed some since then.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Chef Duff Goldman Makes Port Style Wine Purr

"Chef Duff Goldman?" My wife asked, all like, you know, incredulous. She suddenly was keenly interested in my PR invitation, a thing that usually fails to raise an eyebrow around here. Usually the PR folks are just offering wine events, but this one had food, too. This one was interesting. "Oh, you have to go! He’s great! He’s over on Melrose! He’s from Baltimore! Julie looooves him!"

Goldman - the pastry chef and televised Ace of Cakes - was destined for a food career. As a kid, he lived in the tiny Cape Cod town of Sandwich. He graduated from Sandwich High School, which is nothing like the Culinary Institute. He claims his early career as a graffiti artist was derailed when he was caught doing it. He turned to welding and learned how to work with metal. That’s where he got the chops to craft his own wood and metal logo sculpture for the wine he is currently promoting. But food would call him back. After finagling a job at a top Baltimore restaurant making cornbread and biscuits, he was hooked.

The Wine

Goldman's new offering is called Steel Kitten, and it comes from the chef's collaboration with Club W Wine. It’s a Port style dessert wine. Syrah grapes were late-harvested in Santa Barbara County’s Alisos Canyon, near Los Alamos. Dark ruby red, the wine sports a big cherry nose, kinda buzzy with alcohol. The expansive, fruity palate shows cherry and red currant, with lots of alcohol but no big bite. It really feels nice in the mouth and goes down without a burn. The tannic structure is firm.

Goldman advises you pair Steel Kitten with "anything gamey" - pork loin in a port reduction for instance. During the PR event, he demonstrated how to create a pear tart using pears poached in Steel Kitten. The recipe is available on the Club W website, as is the wine.

Another Wine

Just a mention: I opened the evening with a sparkling Chenin Blanc - I know, who is saying “no” to that? The wine is called, "Oh Snap!" and it is done in the Prosecco style. In fact, this 2014 bubbly could easily take the place of Prosecco at your next brunch. Oh Snap! is made from grapes grown in California’s Clarksburg region. It sells for $16 through Club W.

Oh Snap! not only gets your attention with a label that looks like millennial bait, it delivers with a fascinating sensation for the nose and tongue. Pretty, fruity aromas of apples and pears are like candy wrapped in a savory salinity. The wine is brimming full of minerals. On the palate, things are sweet and juicy with amazing apple, pear and peach flavors cruising into a toasty, slightly yeasty finish. The bubbles dissipate rather quickly, but the taste is festive enough so you really don’t miss them. If you like your bubbles sweet, this is one you should try.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Celebrity Wine

Fame and fortune seem to be attracted to the wine business.  Celebrities - especially rich ones - are well-suited to winemaking.  First of all it takes a fortune to run a winery  Secondly, all that fame comes in handy when promoting a product.  Here are some celebs from different areas of fame who have ventured into the wine world.


Golfers seem to be very much attracted to the wine industry.  Greg Norman has long been involved as a Napa Valley winemaker with his Greg Norman Estates.  Jack Nicklaus has teamed with Terlato for his own Nicklaus label, while Arnold Palmer partnered with Napa Valley’s Luna Vineyards for his line.  Fred Couples recently formed a partnership with winemaker Mitch Cosentino for his Couples & Co. brand.  Nick Faldo fronts wine made in Australia while Ernie Els and John Dalyboth have labels for wines made from South African grapes.  Annika Sorenstam works with Wente Vineyards to produce Annika Vineyards wines and Christie Kerr has partnered with Napa Valley’s Pride Mountain Vineyards for Curvature.

Auto racing legend Mario Andretti founded a winery with the former CEO of K-Mart, Joe Antonini.  Frank Arciero, who was involved in auto racing as an owner, founded and owns the Arciero Family Vineyards in Paso Robles, California.  Jeff Gordon shares the driver’s seat with Napa’s August Briggs Winery for his Jeff Gordon Wines label.  NASCAR owner Kevin Buckler also owns the Sonoma County Adobe Road Winery, while fellow NASCAR owner Richard Childressowns the North Carlina-based Childress Vineyards.

Athletes like skater Peggy Fleming, hockey great Wayne Gretzky and former baseball hall-of-famer Tom Seaver are all in the wine business to one degree or another.


Plenty of actors have been bitten by the winemaking bug.  Dan Akroyd has paired with Diamond Estates to produce a line of Canadian wines, from southern Ontario and the Niagara Peninsula. Gerard Depardieu bought Chateau de Tigne in the Loire Valley in 1989.  Lorraine Bracco has her Bracco Wines based in Italy.  The late Raymond Burr bought a Sonoma County winery in Dry Creek Valley, which is now run by his partner.  Desperate Housewives star Kyle MacLachlanworks with a Walla Walla, Washington winery to produce a red blend he calls Pursued By Bear.  The late Fess Parker would occasionally hold court in his Santa Ynez Valley hotel, leading singalongs while his guests enjoyed his wines, produced just up the road.


Madonna has a line of wines, thanks to her father!  Ciccone Vineyards, owned by one Sylvio Ciccone, celebrates the superstar in vino.  Dave Matthews owns a Virginia winery, Blenheim Vineyard, Rapper Lil Jon has a line of wine, although he has claimed to know not very much about wine, except that he likes the taste.  Olivia Newton-John founded her Australian label Koala Blue in 1983.  British star Cliff Richard owns a winery in Portugal.  

Tommy Smothers
 has a Sonoma County vineyard.  The other half of the act is Tommy’s brother,Dick.  He’s into auto racing, so maybe someday he’ll join Tommy amongst the vines.


Jonathan Cain, of Journey fame, partnered with winemakers Dennis De La Montanya and Daryl Groom for the delaCain label.   Mick Fleetwood hooked up with Langtry Estate for his Private Cellar label.  Vince Neil has a vineyard and winery named after himself.

Politician Nancy Pelosi owns two vineyards, but doesn’t make wine.  She sells the grapes to other winemakers.

Wine critic Robert Parker owns a vineyard and winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Beaux Freres.  To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, he abstains from rating any wines from Oregon.