The Bay Area is joining the NBA's wine league with a splash. The Golden State Warriors are partnering with Silver Oak, and the Napa and Sonoma Cabernet house announced it will be providing the team's official in-seat pours at Oracle Arena and releasing an etched set of five Warriors-themed Cabernet bottles.
Platinum–ranked Silver Oak first came to Golden State in 2015 through All-Star Draymond Green. The power forward and Michigan State alum made a wager against LeBron James over a college football game: Green's alma mater versus James' home team Ohio State. Because James is the dean of NBA enophiles who drains Cabernet like he does three-pointers (enthusiastically but in moderation), he set the terms at two cases of wine. The Spartans won, and Green found 2 cases of Silver Oak Napa Cabernet in the mail.
"The [bet] really kicked this off. We saw this incredible energy and very authentic interest, and a lot of new customers discovering us through that initial introduction," explained Silver Oak director of marketing Ian Leggat to Unfiltered. Soon after, Silver Oak partnered with the San Francisco Giants and discovered sports and wine fandom made for a natural pairing, with "people being kind of ritualistic in their sports routines, where they have certain traditions in terms of what they want to eat and drink." After the introduction at Oracle, the plan is for Silver Oak to follow the Warriors to the new Chase Center, where the Warriors will relocate next season. Warriors chief revenue officer Brandon Schneider told Unfiltered via email that his team is "looking forward to collaborating together on content and experiences we think our fans will enjoy, in addition to some great co-branded wine we know our fans will love."
The first such wines are a collector set for superfans of the Silver and Golden, a 5-bottle pack of 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernets, each etched with the Warriors' five historical logos over the past half-century, to open "for five winning Warrior moments"—individual player records, going to the playoffs, winning the championship, winning the championship again ….
When frost smashed Burgundy vineyards on April 27, 2016, ultimately causing some winemakers to lose more than 80 percent of their crop, director and producer Scott Wright and his crew were in the middle of shooting a documentary—about the struggles of grapegrowing. "The idea was to show the stories of these small family winegrowers and the difficulties they were facing after all these difficult vintages [since 2009]," Wright told Unfiltered. "Then suddenly on top of this comes this crushing 2016 vintage. It just amplified the story we had already intended to tell, and it created a lot more drama then we had anticipated."
The resulting film, codirected by Wright (himself an Oregon winemaker) and American Wine Story director David Baker is Three Days of Glory, which debuted last month for American audiences on streaming platforms like iTunes and Amazon.
The severity of the 2016 vintage and the tiny crop it yielded might have caught the filmmakers by surprise, but the goal of telling the story of the small family wineries, remained intact and became perhaps even more urgent. "People probably think these winemakers are rich, and they have this very sexy, glamorous life, and that's not necessarily the case," Wright said. "They live wonderful lives, but at the end of the day, these are farmers out working in the dirt with their own hands." Still, even in the face of 2016's grind, vintners, merchants, chefs, critics and connoisseurs of Burgundy gathered to bid the harvest adieu with an epic annual fête—the titular Les Trois Glorieuses.
After the headaches of 2016 subsided and filming wrapped, good news was on the horizon, with auspicious seasons for many in 2017 and 2018, Wright added. The vignerons "now have the ability to start digging themselves out of the hole that they were in."
Ezra Miller is certainly not the first celebrity to accessorize with wine, but his intellectual-chic ensemble at a recent Dior fashion show in Tokyo made a splash nonetheless.
Stepping in front of the paparazzi, Miller—known for his roles in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series and as the Flash in DC Comics' superhero movie universe, among others—took on a studious persona on the red carpet, wielding a clipboard and taking notes with Unfiltered's new favorite writing tool: a handsome silver pen that doubles as a stem for the flute of sparkling wine that rested atop it. No word on what the bubbly was, or who made the fantastic contraption that contained it, but there is one thing that those who follow the happenings in wine-style might speculate about this fashion choice: Rihanna would approve.
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