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Denver Bronco Von Miller Passes His Wine to Entire AFC West

Plus, new TV wines for Game of Thrones and the Bachelor, and the Hills' Whitney Port steps out with Sterling, responsibly
Von Miller juggles sacking quarterbacks with sacking up wine gifts.
Photo by: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
Von Miller juggles sacking quarterbacks with sacking up wine gifts.

Posted: December 8, 2016

Reigning Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, star linebacker for the Denver Broncos, is feeling particularly generous this holiday season. Last year he handed out bottles of whiskey to all his teammates, but this month he's sent a bottle of his very own Sonoma Cabernet to every player in the entire AFC West division. Miller's special-edition bottling of The Setting Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2014 is a single-vineyard, single-barrel selection made by Aperture's Jesse Katz. The bottle design features Miller's signature along with a stylized image of his trademark orange eyeglass frames, which also signifies the four-time All-Pro's charity, Von's Vision, a non-profit dedicated to providing eyecare services for Denver-area youth. "I can relate to those kids that need glasses," Miller said in a statement. "You'd be surprised how many kids don't even know they have bad eyesight. That could be the thing that gets them better grades in class." After giving out more than 200 of Miller's The Setting bottlings, 100 bottles remain, earmarked for anyone who makes a donation of $500 or more to Von's Vision.

Courtesy of Jesse Katz
Von Miller's wine labels sport his signature nerd-chic frames.

Winemaker Katz, who grew up in Boulder, Colo., is a lifelong Broncos fan. His father (and Aperture partner), photographer Andy Katz, once snapped a shot of a 10-year-old Jesse and then–Broncos quarterback and current NFL-alum vintner John Elway that ended up on the label of a charity water bottle. To create the special-edition bottles of The Setting, a mutual friend put Miller in touch with Katz, the former winemaker at Lancaster Estate who also worked with Andy Erickson at Screaming Eagle. Katz will release a 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet under The Setting label ($85) early next year, with another Alexander Valley bottling and a Sauvignon Blanc to follow. But Katz doesn't just work with Broncos stars: He also made the Jessica BielJustin Timberlake Blue Ocean Floor wedding cuvée.

'Game of Thrones' Wines Are Coming …

Season 7 prediction: House Baratheon invades Napa's Stags Leap District.

It's not just winter that's coming to Westeros. Unfiltered received a raven last week warning of the imminent arrival of official Game of Thrones wines. HBO Global Licensing (sounds like an obvious Lannister subsidiary) is partnering with Vintage Wine Estates in Santa Rosa, Calif., to produce a line of wines inspired by the Emmy Award–winning HBO series based on the best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R.R. Martin. “Any fan of Game of Thrones appreciates the role wine plays in the saga,” said vintner Pat Roney, president and CEO of Vintage Wine Estates, in a press release. The Game of Thrones Chardonnay and red blend ($20 each) and reserve-style Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) follow the franchise's ongoing successful partnership with Cooperstown, N.Y.'s Ommegang brewery; the craft brewer has been making Game of Thrones–themed beers since 2013, the seventh of which, Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale, debuted this past October. How will the GoT Chardonnay compare to House Redwyne's Arbor Golds? Will the Cabernet stand up to the strongwines of Dorne? We'll have to wait until the wines are released this coming spring, which will give fans something to drink while agonizing over what the summer 2017 season 7 premiere will bring.

A Final Rosé for 'The Bachelor'

Have you made your decision?

Whether you live for the weekly rose ceremonies or suffer through each "group date" for the sake of your significant other, it's common knowledge that the preferred way to watch (or withstand) The Bachelor is with a hearty glass of wine. And if fans weren't already excited to view the upcoming season's cringe-worthy moments through rosé-colored glasses, they can now sip on Bachelor-themed wines as they watch all the drama unfold.

Just in time for the series to turn 21—seasons, that is—pop culture–themed wine company Wines That Rock partnered with branding company AW Direct to bring all the passion and excitement of the show to a wineglass near you. The appropriately corny cuvées are from California Central Coast and Lodi grapes: Fantasy Suite Cabernet Sauvignon, One on One Chardonnay and The Final Rosé. "I don’t think you can live in today's society and not be aware of the phenomenon that [The Bachelor] is. And it's been fun to play a small part in it," winemaker Linda Trotta told Unfiltered, noting that the first time the show caught her attention was back in 2003, when Andrew Firestone, son of the founder of Firestone Vineyards in Santa Barbara, went looking for love. (And who can forget when Benjamin Flajnik, another California wine darling, followed suit nearly a decade later?) The wines, priced at $16 each, will be released next week, just in time for the season 21 premiere Jan. 2.

Designer Whitney Port Rides Responsibly with Sterling Vineyards

Milo Max
One of former Hills star Whitney Port's favorite accessories is a bottle of Sterling Vineyards.

It's the merriest of seasons, which means there will be many wines to share at nearly as many festive affairs. And that also means it's an especially important time to remind ourselves to drink responsibly. In that spirit, Napa Valley's Sterling Vineyards launched a campaign this week in partnership with ride-sharing app Uber to add a little incentive to conscientious partying. New Uber users can enter the promotional code "STERLINGGIFT" to receive $15 off their first Uber trip, and all Uber users can sign up at SterlingVineyards.com/Uber for a chance to win a year of free Ubering. In either a stunning coincidence or a savvy piece of guerrilla marketing (Sterling reps insist it's the former), designer and former star of The Hills Whitney Port was spotted hopping into an Uber this past Friday in L.A.'s Venice neighborhood, bow-tied bottle of Sterling Vineyards in hand. While we're 100 percent on board with ordering up an Uber, calling a taxi or drawing straws for designated-driver status whenever the corks start popping, Unfiltered has mixed feelings about reality-TV stars behaving responsibly.

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