Will a Vintner Win Wimbledon?

Plus, Channing Tatum's spirit is Born and Bred American, and pop star Meghan Trainor brings her favorite wine to Kathie Lee and Hoda
Will a Vintner Win Wimbledon?
Don't call it a reach: Novak Djokovic won't be the first major champ to make wine. (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Jun 30, 2016

World No. 1 men's tennis player Novak Djokovic has won the last four consecutive majors, a feat not accomplished since Rod Laver did it in 1969. After winning this year's Australian and French Opens, Djokovic is halfway through Wimbledon as the defending champion, and halfway toward a calendar-year Grand Slam, another feat not accomplished since, well, Laver did it in 1969. But the Djoker isn't just having fun on the court—he's thinking about his future: Local website Blic.rs has reported that the Djokovic family has purchased 12.5 acres of land in the Šumadija wine region of the 29-year-old's native Serbia, with plans to plant grapevines in the spring and build a winery.

Djokovic isn't the only player at Wimbledon who knows how to serve in more ways than one—Roger Federer is a longtime brand rep for Moët & Chandon Champagne. And former French Open champion Thomas Muster retired to Australia to make wine in 2004. But Djokovic has been particularly involved with the wine-and-food industry in the past few years. Last year he partnered with Jacob’s Creek to spearhead the Australian wine brand’s “Made By” documentary series. (Expect Jacob's Creek to pop up again as the official wine sponsor of the U.S. Open in August.) Djokovic also opened a vegan restaurant, Eqvita, in his current home city of Monaco this past April. And a few years back, to the amusement and bewilderment of many, he cornered the market on a rare Serbian donkey cheese for his Belgrade restaurant, Novak (his family owns a string of restaurants and cafés incorporating his name). Knowing the Djoker's love for entertaining his fans, we've got a few ideas for his new winery name. How about Sine Qua Novak? Grand Vin Slam? Serb Lamb Vineyard? We know you can do better …


Channing Tatum's American Spirit

Back in February 2015, local residents of Driggs, Id. (pop. 1,657) received an unexpected guest at a few of the town's watering holes. According to the Teton Valley News, none other than actor Channing Tatum was running the pool table at the Royal Wolf and causing quite a tizzy among the ladies at Warbirds. Now we know what he was really up to: The Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street star was checking in on Grand Teton Distillery, where his new vodka, Born and Bred, is being made.

So why is Tatum making vodka in Idaho? It all started with a conversation between friends. "Why isn't there a really amazing American vodka?" Tatum asked in an interview at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association conference in April. "Tito's was starting to grow, but we decided to search out one of the best distilleries in the States, and we found it in Grand Teton." Born and Bred is distilled 20 times from Idaho potatoes, and Tatum says it tastes "like damn smooth craft." It's not just a pet project for him, however. Tatum became a partner in the distillery as well.

"Chan is a fantastic person with whom to work and a great business partner," Lea Beckett, CEO of Grand Teton Distillery, told Unfiltered. "We spent about 16 months in collaboration designing and bringing this brand to market, and we have found him to be exactly what his fans see—a really down-to-earth guy who is sincere and honest. … We are very fortunate that he chose us to work with and to produce his vodka. We could not be happier."


Meghan Trainor Is All About that Aussie Red

It was tough to miss singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor when she burst onto the airwaves with "All About that Bass," a few years ago. (Unfiltered apologizes for getting that stuck in your head again.) She's collaborated with pop princess Arianna Grande, teen heartthrob Charlie Puth and, of special interest to Unfiltered, R&B crooner and noted wine aficionado John Legend. Ever since Trainor and Legend released the soulful duet "Like I'm Gonna Lose You," we've been waiting to see if she had picked up any of Legend's wine affinities (the singer has his own line of Napa wines, LVE).

Last week, during a visit to the Today Show, Trainor, 22, finally revealed that she has indeed developed a taste for wine. After performing live at Rockefeller Plaza, she stopped in to say hello to hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, who have been known to fancy a glass or two during their show. Trainor came prepared, wheeling in two cases of 19 Crimes, a wine Trainor hailed as her favorite. "I love it," she told her hosts, "It tastes like grape juice to me." Kotb eagerly agreed to try the Australian red blend, but Gifford, who has her own Gifft line of wines, turned it away, saying, "I can't have any because that would be like cheating on myself!"

The on-air publicity came as a surprise to 19 Crimes, which is owned by Treasury Wine Estates. “The 19 Crimes team is thrilled to count Meghan Trainor as a fan," a representative of the brand told Unfiltered. "As a game-changing pop star, her iconic personality matches perfectly with 19 Crimes wines, which celebrate the rebellious spirit of these rule breakers that forged a new culture and national spirit in Australia.”

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