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Dwyane Wade Brings His 2012 Napa Cabernet to China

Plus, Donald Trump files a $10 million lawsuit against chef José Andrés, a tipsy truck claims $123,000 of Bordeaux, and Mollydooker's Sparky Marquis meets the Prime Minister
Photo by: Bobby Metelus/Getty Images
Nee Lau (left) cheers Dwyane Wade and Jayson Pahlmeyer (right) in Beijing.

Posted: August 6, 2015

Having your own wine label is pretty baller. Just ask San Antonia Spurs coach Gregg Popovich or former NBA All-Star Yao Ming. So it comes as no surprise that one of the hippest superstars in the NBA, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, has taken his talents to the vineyard.

With a rather innocuous Instagram post on July 15, D Wade showed off a few bottles of what appeared to be a namesake wine, labeled Wade, but without any explanation, we didn't know exactly what we were looking at; Wade's publicists weren't commenting, but sportswriters were happy to speculate on the mysterious bottles. (That's just smart buzz-generation on the part of the Wade camp.)

A week later a website popped up, announcing the establishment of D Wade Cellars, a joint venture with Napa Valley vintner Jayson Pahlmeyer. So far all we know is that it's a 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Unfiltered applauds Wade for jumping in at the right vintage). There's still no word on the vineyard source or price, but based on a brief video from the D Wade Cellars website, it appears that the bottle comes in a wood gift box embossed with D Wade’s signature logo. In the video, Wade says the wine is “powerful, but it has a finesse to it.” Interested baller Cabernet lovers can sign up for the mailing list, but for now, D Wade and J Pahlm are only selling the wine in China, where premium wine and basketball find many moneyed fans.

Pahlmeyer also specializes in Chardonnay, so a Wade white would make sense as well… that is, if Gabrielle Union, aka Mrs. D Wade, doesn't mind her stud muffin competing with her Vanilla Puddin'.


Trump Fires Back at Chef José Andrés—with a $10 Million Lawsuit

This past month, we brought word that star chef José Andrés was severing ties with leading GOP presidential candidate (and Virginia winery owner) Donald Trump in light of Trump's comments on immigrants. Trump's son, Donald Jr., threatened legal action, and this week, the Trump family followed through, filing a $10 million lawsuit against Andrés for breach of contract.

Trump's team insists that Andrés knew who he was working with from the start, and that therefore Trump's comments on immigrants don't constitute grounds for Andrés to back out of their deal to open a restaurant in Trump's new Washington, D.C., luxury hotel. "Mr. Andrés' offense is curious in light of the fact that Mr. Trump's publicly shared views on immigration have remained consistent for many years, and Mr. Trump's willingness to frankly share his opinions is widely known," the suit reads.

"Mr. Trump's comments made ThinkFoodGroup's participation in this project impossible," read a statement in response to the lawsuit from Andrés' restaurant group. "We had every intention of running a successful business that celebrates and welcomes people and cultures from around the world [but] the landlord allowed Mr. Trump to saddle us with the burden of his inflammatory statements, such that operating a high-end Spanish restaurant is no longer viable for us at this location."


Truck Delivers $123,000 of Bordeaux to Roadside Ditch

On an early Wednesday morning in July, the driver of a semi-trailer truck sped along the main road cutting through Bordeaux's Lalande-de-Pomerol near the hamlet of Les Annereaux. It's been a very hot, dry summer, but that morning the roads were slick with rain. Suddenly, the truck began zigzagging dangerously, alarming local residents. “He hadn’t been drinking, no drugs, no other car involved … he did it all on his own,” said a spokesperson for the transportation company. “He was going too fast and his tire bit the turn.”

Shortly thereafter, the delivery ended precipitously when the truck dangerously crossed lanes, miraculously empty of early commuters, and flipped over into a ditch. The truck driver escaped unscathed, but the same could not be said for the cargo. Boxes flew and glass smashed, upending 19,200 bottles of Château Le Ferreau Belair, the second label of Château Belair-Coubet, a 111-acre estate in Côtes de Bourg. The wine had been labeled and packaged for delivery to a warehouse.

Château Le Ferreau Belair belongs to Les Vignobles Plaisance, run by Alain Faure and his daughters Delphine Faure-Maison and Agnes Havart. “We were able to salvage about half of the load," the shipper's spokesperson told Unfiltered. Damage is estimated at $123,000.


Sparky Marquis' Night with the Prime Minister

Sparky Marquis, the ever-enterprising Oz winemaker behind Mollydooker, shared a story with Unfiltered this week about a charity wine encounter that earned his wine high critical praise from the highest of Australia’s critics: Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Sunday night, Marquis received a text from his lawyers: “Would you like to come to a lunch with the Prime Minister?” as a guest of the firm. Naturally, Marquis offered to bring the wine, expecting a small crowd. Instead, 650 people showed up for the Make a Wish Foundation: “The biggest charity lunch ever held in Adelaide,” said Marquis.

If he couldn’t pour for everyone, Marquis at least wanted to make sure the wine, the 2012 Carnival of Love—No. 2 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2014—and 2013 Enchanted Path, got into Tony’s hands (“in Australia we call everybody by their first name”). His lawyers cautioned that approaching the PM uninvited could have unintended consequences (they would “disown” him if he got arrested), but Marquis managed to reach Tony’s table and even snagged a selfie with the country’s leader.

The next morning, the PM was on the radio fielding questions about economic development in South Australia. Might agriculture present opportunities? Why, just the day before, “I was approached at the luncheon yesterday by a fellow, Sparky Marquis, who runs Mollydooker, and they have just [won a prize for] one of the best Shirazes in the world—Carnival of Love! I’m looking forward to partaking in this Carnival of Love!” the PM laughed. “Look, if South Australian wine can consistently do as well is it does, obviously the opportunities are boundless.” Abbott recently made headlines for downing a pint of beer in a respectable 6 seconds; Unfiltered suggests he take a bit more time to savor the Mollydooker Shiraz.

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