It’s been a busy “retirement” for former NBA star Channing Frye. Less than a year since the debut of his Chosen Family Wines, made in partnership with Willamette Valley's L'Angolo Estate, Frye has added more grapes to the lineup, along with a new wine teammate: Cleveland Cavalier Kevin Love.
Love, who grew up in Lake Oswego, Ore., is a fan of Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs, and was part of the Chosen Family idea from the start. Frye says that he and Love started thinking about building a wine brand together when they were playing on the NBA championship "Wine Team." With more time on his hands in retirement, Frye decided to launch the brand with L'Angolo owner and winemaker Chase Renton and general manager Jacob Gray, while Love stayed focused on the court. But now the Chosen Family is complete, with five-time All-Star Love as official co-owner and investor.
"[Love] has an incredible palate and business acumen," Gray told Wine Spectator. "As a friend we are lucky to have him, and the partnership will bring tremendous growth for us."
Love joins at a critical moment for Chosen Family. Frye says they plan to release six more wines this year, expanding outside the Willamette Valley to Washington, Napa and Sonoma. Their 2019 Syrah sourced from Walla Walla's Les Collines Vineyard and made by Hazelfern Cellars is the first step outside Oregon, and Love helped blend that wine. And Gray says that they are teaming with winemaker Joe Harden to release a Sonoma Pinot in the fall.
"[Love] brings something to the table that we don't have," Frye told Wine Spectator. "Working together with your best friend and finding people that motivate you to be better at what you do makes it more fun."
The former teammates enjoy comparing tasting notes and discussing what flavors they enjoy, often bringing vastly different bottles to meals together. "I'm a big-time New World guy," Frye told Wine Spectator. "I want to drink those and pinpoint what AVAs are there. Kevin loves Napa, but he is an Old World guy. So when we get together it's awesome to see who brings what to the table."
Carmelo Anthony Launches 'What's in Your Glass?' Podcast
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, NBA vet Carmelo Anthony started a YouTube Live series, What's in Your Glass?. From A-list celebs to fellow NBA stars, Anthony brought people together virtually to share a glass of wine and discuss social issues. Now, the YouTube Live series is becoming a weekly podcast produced by Cadence13.
"I’m excited to be working with Cadence13 to bring back What’s in Your Glass? in a brand-new format and introduce it to the world of audio," said Anthony in a statement. "We have some incredible conversations lined up, so I can’t wait for listeners to pour a glass and join us each week as we talk about life, current events and, of course, all things wine."
The first episode debuted July 22 with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Shaka King, who talked about his love for natural wines, Grüner Veltliner and El Dorado rum while also discussing the release of Judas and the Black Messiah (one of Anthony's favorite movies). Anthony paired their conversation with a glass of Möet & Chandon Brut Rosé Champagne.
Upcoming guests include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, singer Andra Day, rapper T-Pain and NBA star JJ Redick. Catch What's in Your Glass? on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audacy or YouTube, among other platforms.
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