Slapping their name on a wine bottle is common practice among musicians and actors, and practically a rite of passage for pro golfers. For others, wine requires more than a rubber stamp. “I’ve always discounted celebrity wines,” says Drew Bledsoe, a former Pro Bowl quarterback and, since 2008, the owner of Doubleback winery. “Wine is not a candy bar. What’s in the bottle should drive the value, not what’s on it.” We recruited Patrick Cappiello, wine director at Pearl & Ash, a New York Bowery restaurant with a 3,000-selection wine list, for a blind test of more than a dozen bottles made by stars who get their hands dirty. Here are the six best.
The Wine: Seaver GTS Cabernet Sauvignon, $95
The Celebrity: Tom Seaver, Hall of Fame Pitcher
The Story: Every day, Seaver walks his black and brown Labs through his Napa Valley vineyard, inspecting the grapes and plants. But he leaves the winemaking to Schrader Cellars’ Thomas Rivers Brown. “I garden three acres,” says Seaver. “I don’t do technical stuff.”
Cappiello's Bottom Line: “It is ripe, rich, well-crafted, and has a long finish. This is not a cheap wine to make, I imagine. There’s a well-seasoned winemaker working here.”
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