Jamie Moyer, 46, was once a beer drinker, but now the current oldest player in Major League Baseball is all about wine. The pitcher for the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies has about 2,000 bottles in a cellar he's built to hold twice that. The father of seven (including an adoptee from Guatemala) does all his own purchasing and is partial to Bordeaux, Barolo, super Tuscans and California Cabernets. Moyer recently spoke with Wine Spectator about his mile-high wine club and more.
Wine Spectator: How did you become interested in wine?
Jamie Moyer: Back in '97 or '98, I was playing in Seattle; we had a lot of day games, so afterward we would find a nice place and have a steak dinner. I didn't really have a taste for wine then, but we tasted some pretty nice stuff—[Antinori] Tignanello, Sassicaia—that kind of stuff, back before they became the Tignanello and Sassicaia that they are today. I bought some of my own Sassicaia for $55 a bottle at one time; now you can't even sniff [for that price].
WS: What was the tipping point to starting your collection?
JM: You start to like some things, buying a little more and a little more and then you say, "What am I going to do with all of this? How do I take care of all of this?" I was spending $30, $40, $55 a bottle, and I needed to take care of it, so I eventually built a whole temperature-controlled walk-in wine room with blocked-out windows, insulated walls and double racking.
WS: What do you like about wine?
JM: I really enjoy sharing my wine. I think that's what it's all about. You open up a bottle of wine and talk about wines you've had or wines you'd like to have or wines that weren't up to par; it opens people up.
WS: Team trips for away games must be good times to buy wine.
JM: I usually venture around to try and find some wine shops. I like to compare prices. For me, it allows me to have an open mind to what's out there; you can learn a lot just by talking to the people who work there.
WS: Do you share with your teammates?
JM: A couple of years ago, I started to take wine on the airplane during the season. It's a great way to relax and a great shared experience. In Philadelphia, I have a little wine club on the plane with two of the broadcasters: Gary Matthews Jr., who's an ex-teammate, and Larry Andersen, a guy I used to play against. I usually bring the wine, Gary brings the glasses, and Larry gets the easy way out and has to bring the corkscrew. Half the time, he forgets the corkscrew. It's kind of a running joke. We sit and enjoy and sometimes a teammate comes up and says, "Hey, do you mind if I have a glass?" That's what it's about.
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