Charity Wines' Longball Cellars brand uses baseball players to market a selection of wines, donating a portion of each sale to the player's charity of choice.
While Atlanta's Chipper Chardonnay sounded intriguing and Cincinnati's B-Lark Merlot was appealing, the big question was how do the Yankee wines stack up against Boston's?
Paul Grieco, a native of Toronto and the owner of critically acclaimed restaurants Hearth and Insieme, was called in as an objective, third-party taster.
For anyone who cares, the Yankees' lables beat the Sox'. For my part, I can't get past the inappropriate pairing of ballplayers and wine. Beer seems like a better match, and I'd have to think that ballplayer-branded microbrews would bring even more for charity.
But let us look at some of the player vintages, shall we?
Cabernet Glavingnon: Most Cabernet Sauvignons are at their best winthin 5-9 years of the vintage, although some need 10-20 years to mature. In their 22nd year? Real risk of turning to vinegar;
Manny Being Merlot: According to some, Merlot has been unfairly denigrated in the popular culture by a glibly-applied phrase (i.e. "it's just a blending grape"). It's somehow appropriate, then, that the glibly-applied phrase which has been used to unfairly denigrate Manny Ramirez's contributions -- Manny being Manny -- is being used to market a Merlot.
Schilling Schardonnay: After a period of hyper-popularity, Chardonnay experienced a backlash in which people tired of its heavy, obvious, overbearing, and ubiquitous nature. Ahem.
Santana's Select Merlot: I'm assuming it's quite expensive. It's probably a nice changeup from some of the other wines, however.
Homer Chardonnay: A bit of a disappointment so far, but it's a young vintage and will be better after being sent down for some aging.
Junior Cabernet Sauvignon: Most experts agree, that exposure to cold can increase the risk of injury to a grapevine, thus severely impacting the vine's productivity. In honor of the example set by Griffey's -- health and hall of fame career in Seattle (avg. high temperature 60.2) injury-plagued decline in Cincinnati (avg. high temperature 64.6) -- these grapes perform in exactly the opposite way.
512 Chardonnay: Let's drink two!