Novi recepti

Sipajte čašu vina bez da ste ikada otvorili bocu

Sipajte čašu vina bez da ste ikada otvorili bocu

Svi koji vole vino imaju sličan problem kada je u pitanju otvaranje skupe boce: nema načina da ga zatvorite na odgovarajući način kad ste se nasitili. Vino se kvari, a kad se ne konzumira dovoljno brzo, troši se vrijedan nektar u kojem bi se inače moglo uživati ​​da postoji alternativa.

"Kompanija je stvorila alat koji postaje neophodan za sve ljubitelje vina." Pokušaj ponovnog začepljenja boce je dosadan; čep se često lomi i gotovo je nemoguće vratiti ga pravilno u bocu. Uvijek ste mogli kupiti jedan od onih mehanizama koji ispumpava sav zrak iz vinske boce, ali i to može umoriti, a često će i jedna pukotina u gumenim čepovima od pluta iscuriti sav zrak iz boca za vino i uzrokovati ustajanje vino - sad ste ispumpali sav taj zrak bez razloga!

Ali Coravin ima rješenje. Kompanija je stvorila alat koji postaje neophodan za sve ljubitelje vina. To je nova tehnologija pristupa vinu i prijenosni proizvod koji omogućava korisnicima da toče vino iz bilo koje boce, u bilo koje vrijeme, bez ikakvog povlačenja čepa. Tako je - doslovno nikada ne izvlačite čep iz boce. Očigledno, jedino što se događa tijekom ovog čarobnog procesa je da igla probije čep i uđe u bocu, dopuštajući vam da izlijete jednu čašu. Nema potrebe za uklanjanjem folije ili čepa.

Ali ne samo da gurnete iglu u bocu i sipate, to bi bilo asinin. Coravin je stvorio proizvod koji je siguran od upotrebe i koji zapravo koristi plin argon za stvaranje pritiska u boci i prisiljavanje vina da teče kroz iglu u vašu čašu. Nakon što se igla ukloni, pluta se ponovno zatvara zbog pritiska u uskom grlu. Coravinova web stranica objašnjava da vino koje ostaje u boci zapravo nikada ne dolazi u dodir sa zrakom.

Pa šta je velika ideja? Pa, zapravo postoji mnogo ideja. Coravin proizvod idealan je za povremene pijance koji ne mogu preorati bocu vina u jednom zamahu. Ali također je idealno za skupog poznavatelja vina koji umire od želje da isproba onu bocu od 500 dolara koju su kupili u Francuskoj, ali se previše boji sve to pojesti u jednoj sjednici. Prema podacima kompanije, proizvod je temeljito testirao osnivač Coravina Greg Lambrecht, koji je kupio pola kutije vina i tijekom pet godina testirao proizvod i veličinu igle sve dok nije mogao sa sigurnošću reći da je Coravin radio.

Čini se da je proizvod jednostavan za upotrebu i definitivno imamo nekoliko boca vina koje želimo pustiti da se odmore, ali u međuvremenu ipak želimo okusiti. Ko kaže da morate čekati godinama da jedna boca odleži? Coravin je izumio proizvod koji može poboljšati cjelokupno iskustvo kušanja vina isprobavajući jednu bocu dugi niz godina, a da je nikada ne morate otvoriti. U svijetu degustacije mogućnosti su sada beskrajne ...


9 najboljih vadičepa 2021. godine, prema mišljenju stručnjaka

Naši urednici nezavisno istražuju, testiraju i preporučuju najbolje proizvode. Ovdje možete saznati više o našem procesu pregleda. Možemo primati provizije za kupovine obavljene putem odabranih linkova.

Pristojan vadičep od vitalnog je značaja za otvaranje boce vina. Bez toga, riskirate da se pluta raspadne, pukne boca ili, što je najgore, ne popijete vino. Obratili smo se mnoštvu somelijera i vinskih stručnjaka koji su im preporučili isprobane vadičepe. Od konobarskih vadičepa do vadičepa, ovdje je najbolje razmotriti dodavanje u vaš kućni bar.


Tvoja creva

Ako ne razmišljate o tome kako poboljšati zdravlje crijeva, sada je pravi trenutak za početak. Što se više istraživanja provodi o crijevima i njihovom učinku na opće zdravlje, to postaje sve važnije.

Čini se da je raznolik mikrobiom od vitalnog značaja za prevenciju i liječenje stanja kao što su upalne bolesti crijeva, pretilost, rak i autoimuna stanja, prema pregledu posljednjih 10 godina istraživanja mikrobioma objavljenom u veljači 2019., objavljenom u časopisu ​Mikrobiom.

Ispostavilo se da crno vino može doprinijeti povećanoj raznolikosti crijeva, prema studiji iz avgusta 2019. objavljenoj u ​Gastroenterologija​. Istraživači su proučavali blizance i primijetili da su oni koji su pili crno vino, čak i jednom u nekoliko tjedana, imali veću raznolikost mikrobiota od onih koji nisu pili crno vino. Vrijedi napomenuti da je bijelo vino pokazalo manji (ali ipak pozitivan) učinak, ali istraživači nisu pronašli istu povezanost s pivom ili žestokim pićima.

Iako ovo istraživanje ne dokazuje da polifenoli u crnom vinu mogu izravno povećati raznolikost crijeva, samo bi vam mogli dati prednost u diverzifikaciji vašeg portfelja crijeva.


Kako rashladiti vino

Unaprijed planiranje. Ovo pravilo važi za skoro sve u životu. Stavite crveno -bijele boje u hladnjak i uklonite ih sat ili dva prije večere. Idealna temperatura za frižider je između 35 ° F i 40 ° F. Ako imate mrlje koje vam uvijek smrznu salatu, barem će vam vino malo brže ohladiti. Hlađenje boca na vratima neće napraviti razliku u vremenu, ali ako ih često otvarate, zalijepite boce dalje na policu ili u oštrije posude.

Zamrzivač. Svi smo to uradili. Ubacivali su boce u ledomat dok su prijatelji postajali ambiciozni s njihovom konzumacijom, da bi ih zaboravili i sljedećeg jutra pronašli ledenu eksploziju. Iako se kvaliteta ne može smanjiti na takvim ekstremnim temperaturama, rizik od nereda raste. Kad se voda u vinu smrzne, ona se širi i može djelomično ili potpuno istisnuti čep ili čak razbiti bocu. Ovo omogućava izlaz kisika, koji pokreće sat oksidacije. Ako koristite zamrzivač, postavite mjerač vremena na 30 minuta.

Najbolji način za brzo hlađenje vina. Stavite bocu u ledenu kadu sa soli. Ne, nemojte uzimati bakine Epsom soli. Tablična verzija će biti dovoljna. Uzmite kantu ili posudu i dodajte sol, vodu i led. Led upija toplinu iz vode, što snižava temperaturu. Sol dovodi tačku smrzavanja vode ispod 32 ° F. Prijevod: ledena voda sa slanom vodom može ohladiti roze za 15 minuta ili manje.

Druge metode hlađenja. Ako ste na putu, nosite izoliranu torbicu u koju stanu 2-4 boce. Za samce, rukav koji se čuva u zamrzivaču ohladi bocu od 750 ml. Kod kuće sipajte čašu vina i stavite je u frižider. Zbog manje mase potrebno je manje vremena da se ohladi nego cijela boca.

Kocke leda za višekratnu upotrebu također su odlične za hlađenje jedne čaše, ali kad se zagriju, morat ćete ih ponovno zamrznuti. Naravno, u zamrzivaču možete držati i dovoljno za više čaša.

Šta ne treba činiti. Za razliku od debele, smrznute šolje, ohlađena čaša nema dovoljno mase ili površine da sruši temperaturu vašeg vina. Dok se kockice leda ohlade, one također razrjeđuju okus, što je u redu ako tražite iskustvo nalik špriceru. Konačno, internet će vam predložiti da sipate vino u plastičnu vrećicu koja se može zatvoriti i baciti u ledenu vodu. Doći će do 50 ° F za otprilike 2 minute, ali sada postajemo pomalo očajni, zar ne?


Treba li sva stara vina dekantirati? Treba li starijim vinima više vremena za pretakanje?

Suprotno uvriježenom mišljenju, pretakanje starijih vina daleko je od željeznog pravila. Burgundija je, na primjer, poznata po svojoj delikatnosti, a stručnjaci često vode žučnu raspravu o tome treba li dekantirati ili ne. Međutim, starije berbe vina na bazi Nebbiola, poput Barola i Barbaresca, zajedno s Riojom i drugim vinima punog tijela, općenito su snažni kandidati za pretakanje.

Ako početni okus vina obećava, pretakanje možda neće biti potrebno. Pažljivo sipajte vino direktno iz boce u čašu. Ako se ipak odlučite pretočiti, upotrijebite vrč s uskom podlogom koji nudi manje mogućnosti zraku da se dodatno integrira i promijeni vino.

Uobičajeno je uvjerenje da što je vino starije, duže mu treba da se otvori. Ali Mannie Berk postavlja nešto malo konkretnije.

"Vina koja su podvrgnuta velikoj količini kisika prije nego što se pune u boce imaju tendenciju da dobro reagiraju na kisik nakon otvaranja boce", kaže Berk.

Za Madeiru, prelijte najmanje jedan dan za svaku deceniju starosti boce.

Oni Barolos, Barbarescos i Riojas koji dobro reagiraju na pretakanje? Uglavnom su vinificirani na način koji uključuje veću izloženost kisiku.

Najekstremniji primjer koji Berk nudi je Madeira, vino koje u proizvodnji vidi i kisik i toplinu, a poznato je da traje neograničeno dugo nakon otvaranja boce.

“Ako je Madeira duže vrijeme u boci, želite je pretočiti nekoliko dana do nekoliko tjedana prije nego što je popijete, jer ona mora proći iz okruženja bez kisika u okruženje u kojem se vraća kisiku ... to je ono što zaista voli ”, kaže on.

Berkovo pravilo za Madeiru? Dekantirajte najmanje jedan dan za svaku deceniju starosti boce.

Koliko je previše kada je u pitanju pretakanje? / Getty


Stručni vodič za otvaranje starije boce vina

Rano u karijeri svakog sommeliera dođe trenutak koji volim nazvati Test stare boce. Tada vam prvi put uručuju vino koje je možda dva puta vaše ili starije. Kako ćete se ponašati pod pritiskom da uredno puknete njegov pečat - pazeći da niti jedna kap dragocjene tekućine ne bude uzalud potrošena pod trošnom kaskadom ostataka plute? Ako ga otvarate pored stola, kako ćete održati profesionalnost hladnom? Kako možete učiniti da izgledate kao da niste podjednako zbunjeni izazovom Cheval Blanca iz 1947. koliko i prošlogodišnji rose? Srećom, postoje neki korisni alati koje možemo zadržati u našim poslovičnim pakiranjima i nekoliko jednostavnih smjernica za uslugu bez stresa. Nakon što vidite što je boca, postavljanje sljedećih pitanja trebalo bi vam pomoći da odredite kako dalje.

Koliko je staro?

Ako je boca vina pravilno uskladištena (tj. Na hladnom, tamnom i vlažnom mjestu), u dobi od dvadeset godina, ne bi trebao biti problem otvoriti vaš obični ključ za vino. Ako znate povijest skladištenja boce i osjećate se ugodno kopati odmah, onda (nježno) krenite u to! Ako je bocu netko donio kao čep, a otvarate je na zahtjev gosta, pitajte je li je donio iz podruma. Nadajte se da pluta nije osušena od vrućine, spojena s grlom boce ili uznemirena agresivnim rukovanjem. Kako biste spriječili otkazivanje, upotrijebite jedan od dolje navedenih alata za uklanjanje netaknute plute. Ako je vino znatno starije od dvadeset godina, vjerojatno biste ipak trebali upotrijebiti jedno od njih. Čak i ako ah-so gurne čep u bocu, umjesto da ga uhvati sa strana kako bi ga izvadio, jedna punopravna pluta koja se uvija u vinu pobjeđuje od hiljada sitnih čestica plute koje bi mogle tamo navratiti ako crv vašeg ključa za vino ga iscepa na komade.

Je li boca stajala uspravno ili ležeći?

Stare boce češće bacaju talog. "Bacanje taloga" odnosi se na prirodno taloženje kompleksa tanina i antocijana koji doprinose boji i strukturi crnog vina. S vremenom, neki mogu postati preveliki ili teški da ostanu u otopini pa će pasti na dno boce. Ne samo da je potpuno normalno i ni na koji način ne utječe na kvalitetu vina, već je i znak da je vino graciozno odležalo i da nije pretjerano ili grubo obrađeno prije punjenja u boce. Ali ono što je neugodno je dobiti gutljaj zrnatih tvari, što će se dogoditi ako protresete ili pomaknete bocu, čime se preraspodjeljuje čvrsta tvar. Ako je boca ležala vodoravno u podrumu i znate dovoljno unaprijed kada ćete je otvoriti, obično je dobra ideja da je postavite uspravno kako biste omogućili talogu koji se sakupio sa strane da se slegne do dno radi lakšeg pretakanja ili sipanja. Samo pripazite dok se približavate kraju vina. Mračniji dio - "talog" - može se ostaviti i odbaciti ili filtrirati kroz cjediljku ili gazu (vidi dolje) kako bi se dobila svaka kapljica vina za piće. Ako je vino ležalo vodoravno do trenutka otvaranja, kolijevka za vino je zgodan držač koji će vam omogućiti otvaranje i ulijevanje iz boce što je moguće bliže izvornom položaju, bez ometanja pokrivača taloga.

36 poklona i spravica za svakoga ko voli piće

Je li pretakanje opcija?

Dekantiranje boce odličan je način za odvajanje vina od gore spomenutog taloga. Jednostavno prestanite prebacivati ​​tekućinu u posudu za čišćenje nakon što vidite talog koji se približava grlu boce. Većina ljudi drži svijeću ispod vrata kako bi omogućila jasniji pregled čvrstih tijela. Ako ste kod kuće i estetika ne igra ulogu, baterijska lampa vašeg iPhonea radi prilično dobro. Mješavine Bordeauxa, Syrah i sve što je izdašnije tipično mogu izdržati dekantiranje. Ali dvaput bih razmislio o pretakanju 50-godišnje Burgundije. Iako pomaže pri uklanjanju taloga, dekantiranje također izlaže vino zraku. To bi moglo biti dobra stvar za mlado vino opisano kao "tijesno". Gotovo je poput gumba za premotavanje unaprijed, kojim brže dolazite do vina na ugodnije mjesto. Ali za vino već osjetljive prirode, možete izgubiti neke od svojih najljepših trenutaka u toj izloženosti.

Imam li odgovarajuće alate?

Da biste bili spremni za svaku bocu koja vam naiđe, dobro je imati ah-so spremnu. Aha-so je taj dvostrani uređaj za vađenje plute koji izgleda gotovo kao veliki set pinceta s ručkom na vrhu. To je oruđe izbora za starije čepove koji se mogu raspasti ako se probije ključem za vino. Jednostavno pretraživanje na YouTubeu izvući će mnoge vodiče o tome kako koristiti ah-so, ali koncept je jednostavan: umetnite zupce između čepa i grla boce, najprije produžite i lagano mrdnite ili ljuljajte uređaj naprijed -natrag sve dok ne bude dovoljno daleko da potpuno prianja plutu. Okrenite i povucite prema gore za uklanjanje. Iako ah-so ima visoku stopu uspjeha za starije boce, uvijek će postojati tvrdoglavi čepovi koji se lome ili izgleda da se raspadaju pri kontaktu. Relativni pridošlica na sceni uklanjanja plute-Durand-nekako je uspio preuzeti sav rizik od otčepljivanja čepova. To je u osnovi kombinirani okretni i pojačavač plutenog vijka plus ah-tako da vam omogućuje stabilizaciju pluta dok radite ah-so oštrice sa strane. Nema više guranja čepa! A ako želite cijeli arsenal, dodajte kleštima port port hvataljke ili fino mrežasto cjedilo ili gazu. Prednost kliješta za lukove je u tome što uklanjaju cijeli dio uskog grla koje prekriva pluto, ali zahtijevaju potpuno postavljanje, uključujući plamen kako bi se kliješta zagrijala do usijanja. Oni svakako predstavljaju dobru predstavu, ali ni na koji način nisu praktični za svakodnevnu upotrebu. Konačno, cjedilo ili gaza će ukloniti glavobolju iz otvaranja boce u kojoj je došlo do ometanja taloga, djelujući kao à la minutni sistem filtriranja tokom pretakanja.


Tajno vinsko društvo NBA

Verzija ove priče se pojavljuje u GOLD RUSH -u: pokreće ga espnW, posebna saradnja sa ESPN The Magazine za njegovo izdanje od 19. februara. Subscribe!

Rijeka crnih shuttle autobusa pregovara o oštrim skretanjima, poskakujući nagore kilometrima neravnog kolnika koji blijedi u prljavštinu, s dvije trake na jednu, penjući se ispod hrastove šume koja blokira jutarnje svjetlo. Usluga mobitela se ništa ne smanjuje. Konačno, pojavljuju se metalna vrata, veliko "M" u središtu, a uskoro iz autobusa izlijevaju Cleveland Cavaliers. Oko 60 članova franšize okuplja se kraj stolova prekrivenih bijelom tkaninom, sjedeći na kori kedra raširenoj po maloj čistini. Zvuče flaute iz 2006. Dom P érignon u zdravici. U blizini, svuda oko imanja, leži ugljenisana zemlja. Spaljeni obronci, prekriveni crnim kosturima drveća, zloslutno su se razbojali.

Ovo je Mayacamas, jedna od najpoznatijih vinarija u dolini Napa. Nije mnogo Cavsa bilo ovdje, ali LeBron James je bio, i on prepoznaje da je područje na kojem sada stoji, mala čistina, nekada pripadalo zgradi koje više nema.

Vatra je, kad je stigla, dojurila sa zapada hraneći se suhim šikarom i tutnjeći nad brdima. Vjetrovi su ga zahvatili uz rubove i u vinograde Mayacamasa, intenzivna groznica koja prijeti uspavanoj lozi ubrana nedugo prije. Radnici su evakuisani dok se plamen približavao vinariji, ne znajući šta će - ako išta - preživjeti. Kad su se zaposlenici vratili sedmicama kasnije, vidjeli su kako se plamen iskrao do ruba tri glavne zgrade, lizao im bokove, ostavljajući duboke crne ožiljke u blizini temelja. Nanesena je milionska šteta, mada će se pravi iznos računati kada postane jasno koje loze još mogu pupati u proljeće. No, vatra je nekako progutala samo jednu od zgrada, dvokatnu strukturu u stilu talijanske vile od 5.000 kvadratnih metara koja se koristila za ugostiteljstvo i objedovanje.

"To je čudo", kaže pomoćnik vinara Mayacamas Braiden Albrecht.

Mayacamas nije ugostio nijednu grupu od tog oktobarskog požara. Nema grupa, to jest do danas, jasnog, žustrog četvrtka krajem decembra-dva dana prije Jamesovog 33. rođendana-kada Cavaliersi stignu na dvodnevni bijeg u Napu.

Na Mayacamasu, organizatori su požurili da se pripreme za Cavaliers, odvozeći spaljene ruševine u ogromne kante. Sada, nakon tosta sa šampanjcem, igrači se okupljaju pored spremnika za fermentaciju prije nego što se presele u susjednu sobu u prostranu dnevnu sobu, gdje su čaše chardonnaya iz 2015. i cabernet iz 2013. postavljene na teški drveni stol. Razigrano šmugnu još čaša vina. James pokušava iskušati novaka, napadača Cedija Osmana, koji se, zajedno s nekim drugim početnicima, još ne bavi vinom. "Popij me . "James kaže, držeći čašu blizu Osmana, ali Osman to odbija." Njihov gubitak ", rekao bi James kasnije." Više za mene. "

Proizvođač vina Mayacamas Andy Erickson predstavlja chardonnay opisujući koliko je ponosan što nije tipičan chardonnay iz doline Napa, a ne pretjeran s notama maslaca. Igrači pijuckaju i pitaju ih za mišljenje. Stražar J.R. Smith, koji sjedi na kauču uz stražnji zid, podiže ruku. Šta vam pada na pamet dok pijucka vino?

"To je kao puter", kaže Smith, smešeći se. Smijeh izvire sa svih strana. Classic J.R.

Na kraju, igrači odlaze ispod u podrum, gdje hrastove bačve od 1200 galona nižu kamene zidove izgrađene prije zabrane. Čekaju cabernet iz 2003. godine. Kavaliri ostaju samo sat i pol, ali dok vinari objašnjavaju korak po korak proces nastajanja vina, igrači postavljaju niz pitanja-o vinima proizvedenim na planinama u odnosu na ona u dolini , koje su prakse najbolje za održavanje zdravog podruma, koliko dugo odležavaju određena vina, kako održavati čiste cisterne za fermentaciju, zašto su neka vina 15 USD, neka 1500 USD.

Ova pitanja niko ne postavlja, Misli Carissa Mondavi, četvrta generacija vinogradara iz Continuum Estatea i unuka kalifornijskog pionira vina Roberta Mondavija. Vinari vole znatiželju, kada posjetitelji istražuju dublje od drugih. Ali ovo izgleda kao nešto više.

I ovdje Mondavi vidi zaključak: NBA igrači su proizvod toliko neviđenih sati provedenih usavršavajući toliko skrivenih detalja, a sve to dovodi do trenutka kada se lopta baci u zrak. Tako je i vino napravljeno prema bezbrojnim varijablama - vremenu, tlu, berbi, cisternama, bačvama i mješavinama, nježnoj alkemiji svega - sve dok jednog dana pluta nije povučena. Da bi oboje zablistali, potrebno je toliko rada koji niko neće vidjeti.

Enofilija NBA-e se ukorijenila-od zabava na jahti nakon banana do posjeta vinograda sankcioniranih od strane tima. Ljubaznošću Dwyane Wade

TIMBERWOLVES GUARD JIMMY Butler putuje s vinskom kutijom, koju je kupio na Olimpijskim igrama u Riju 2016., donoseći sa sobom boce crnog pinota. Stražar Warriorsa Stephen Curry, ljubitelj Bordeauxa, sat vremena putuje do Nape kako bi se opustio, iako bi volio da je to počeo prije devet godina, kada je stigao u područje zaljeva. ("Ne znam jesam li cijenio ono što je u mom dvorištu", kaže Curry danas.) Napadač Warriorsa Kevin Durant još uvijek procjenjuje koja se vina najbolje slažu s određenom hranom, još uvijek znatiželjni prema terroiru - faktorima okoliša koji utječu na vino. Ali zna s čime se voli odmarati, pogotovo nakon utakmice: bogatijim, punim pino noirom.

Čuvar Miami Heat -a, Dwyane Wade, prije nekoliko godina počeo je s rizlingom na Prime 112 u Miamiju, sada žudi za cabernetom i, u partnerstvu s Napinim hvaljenim vinom Pahlmeyer, pokrenuo je vlastitu etiketu D Wade Cellars koja sadrži crvenu mješavinu i cabernet sauvignon . Priča se o ros -u#233 koji dolazi.

Chris Paul je također počeo rizling prije nego što je prešao na crveno, sada obožava pino noir, sprijateljio se s majstorom sommelierom, učestvuje u slijepim degustacijama i posjećuje vinograde tokom berbe. Tokom novembarske utakmice protiv Warriorsa 2015. godine, kada je Paul bio sa Clippersima, donosio je loptu na teren kada je vikao muškarcu sa strane. "Hej! Donesi li mi dobro vino?" Taj čovjek je bio Juan Mercado, osnivač Realm Cellars u Napi.

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Zatim tu je napadač Thundera Carmelo Anthony.

I Anthony je prošao fazu rizlinga, nedugo nakon što ga je 2007. zaintrigiralo vino, još kada je igrao za Nuggets. Uskoro će početi odmarati u regijama bogatim vinom širom svijeta. Nabavio je zalihe u vinoteci u Sacramentu i uživao u ranim berbama Dominusa. Pokušao je s Petrusom iz 1986., starinskim Bordoom vrijednim hiljade dolara, i, prema njegovim riječima, "nije bilo povratka" - ali ga je tada prijatelj nagovorio da burgundijama pruži priliku, iako ih je Anthony isprva pronašao zamršen, ubrzo je pao i na njih. Sada te sorte pune vitrinu sa šest boca koju Anthony vuče po ligi.

Kako je Anthony dublje zaronio u vino, počeo se baviti slijepim kušanjem, degustacijskim grupama. Počeo se ponositi time što je mogao upariti vino s bilo kojim jelom. Bio je nateran da pokupi note za degustaciju u bilo kojoj čaši. "Ako majstor sommelier dobije 12 od 12", Anthony izjavljuje o kušanju nota, "želim dobiti tri." I tako je nastavio ispitivati, razvijajući svoje nepce, do sada ponosno i sa velikim osmijehom kaže: "Mogu vam dati tri."

Danas, Anthony gleda oko NBA -e i vidi cvjetajući trend, ali priznaje da bi se neki igrači mogli uplašiti prostranosti vinskog svijeta. "Morate pronaći svoje nepce", propovijeda Anthony. "To je poput umjetnosti. Kao što svi ne mogu otići kupiti Basquiate i Rembrandtove, velike komade. Tako ja gledam na vino, morate shvatiti šta vam se sviđa."

Kada je 2011. godine zamijenjen za Knicks, Anthony je počeo posjećivati ​​i ugostiti večere u New Yorku "s dvije boce u nedjelju" s visokim zaljubljenicima-onima čije se kolekcije, kako kaže, procjenjuju u milionima. Mandat na takvim večerama: donijeti vrhunske boce.

"Evo priče", počinje Anthony, sjedeći u prostoriji za vježbanje Thundera u prohladno decembarsko jutro. Prije nekoliko godina, možda 2014., prisustvovao je večeri u domu jednog od najvećih kolekcionara na istočnoj obali, zajedno sa oko 80 drugih, svi dobro upućeni u vino, i svi su zamoljeni da donesu svoje vrlo najbolja boca. O moj boze, Pomislio je u sebi Anthony. Ne želim biti "taj tip". Jer znam da ti momci dolaze sa 50 -im, 60 -im, 70 -im. Išli bi duboko u svoje podrume, donoseći vrelinu. Tada ga je pogodilo: šampanjac. Uvijek elegantan, uvijek siguran ulog. Tako je donio Dom P érignon Brut Ros é magnum, krajem 1990 -ih.

Na kraju večeri održano je takmičenje u izboru najbolje boce. I? Anthony se sada ceri. On se plasirao u prva tri.

Lako je vidjeti zaključak: NBA igrači su proizvod toliko neviđenih sati provedenih usavršavajući toliko skrivenih detalja. Tako je i vino napravljeno prema bezbroj varijabli. Da bi oboje zablistali, potrebno je toliko rada koji niko neće vidjeti. Ljubaznošću Mayacamas

Sindikat glumice Gabrielle, koja je udata za Wadea, sjeća se vremena prije samo nekoliko godina kada njen muž uopće nije pio vino. No onda je krenula s vlastitom etiketom - Vanilla Puddin, kalifornijski chardonnay - i ukazala se prilika. Wade je bio mlad u vinu, ali je vjerovao da bi tako nešto mogao učiniti sa 40 godina, nakon odlaska u penziju.

To se dogodilo mnogo ranije. Do ljeta 2014, bio je tamo, sjedio je u hotelu Bardessono u Yountvilleu, ispred sebe sa tri crvene mješavine usmjerene na cabernet, a svaku je Pahlmeyer izradio kako bi odgovarao stilu koji je posebno tražio. Wade je otpio sva tri, ali u stilu Zlatokose samo je jedan bio samo desno - 75 posto caberneta, 15 posto merlota, 7 posto cabernet franka, 2,5 posto petit verdota, 0,5 posto malbeka, s notama tamne čokolade, suhog duhana, kadulje i pite od borovnica. Wade je zasjao dok je pijuckao tu kombinaciju, izjavljujući: "Osećam se kao da sam stigao. Sada imam svoje vino."

Kaže Union, autor memoara Trebat će nam još vina: "Kad su bili prvi u ligi. To su bili nakit i automobili, način života rock zvijezda i sva oprema koja dolazi s tim. Kako su svi stariji i zasnivali porodice, to su bile kuće i sve očigledne vizuelne zamke bogatstva. Sada ljudi više nisu impresionirani vašim finansijskim portfeljem ili veličinom vaše kuće. Niko ne govori o kvadraturi. Niko ne govori o automobilima ili nakitu ili bilo čemu drugom. On može donijeti najbolju bocu vina. "

U desetinama intervjua s igračima i onima iz vinske industrije koji su s njima stupili u interakciju - vinari, kolekcionari, majstori somelijeri - jasno je: ikonične figure igre rastući su enofili. No, kada je u pitanju koji je tim najviše opsednut vinom, teško ćete pobijediti onoga čije su boje, primjereno, vino i zlato.

NEŠTO JE ISKLJUČENO sa Cleveland Cavaliersima. (I ne, ne govorimo o ovih posljednjih nekoliko sedmica.) Februar je 2014., a David Griffin je upravo imenovan vršiocem dužnosti generalnog direktora. Ali kad počinje ispitivati ​​kulturu tima, otkriva je. nedostaje. Tražeći rješenje, Griffin otkida stranicu treneru Warriorsa Steveu Kerru, s kojim je Griffin radio zajedno u uredu Sunsa i koji se kune u moć timskih večera. I to ne bilo kakve večere, već upareno sa vinom večere. Zbog toga se Griffin obraća svojoj supruzi Meredith.

Meredith se obučava za sommeliera i vodi seminare o odnosu vina i wellnessa u sklopu svoje kompanije, decantU. Ona vjeruje u navodne prednosti vina - da je dobro za kardiovaskularni sistem, dobro za srce, da njegovo cijenjenje inspirira pažnju, potiče prisutnost. Ako počnete primjećivati ​​šta osoba sa stola miriše u čaši? Tada biste mogli početi obraćati više pažnje na njega ili nju.

Zamislite prizor 28. decembra nakon podne, nakon posjete Mayacamas -u, dok se Cavaliers odlaze u vinariju Brand Napa Valley, gdje ručaju u pećini prije nego što se presele u sobu za fermentaciju. Unutra je osam stolova, od kojih svaki sadrži tri vina koje proizvodi Brand: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc i petit verdot. Na stolu je i njegov Brio, mješavina crvene boje u bordo stilu.

Koliko iznosi vježba izgradnje tima-daleko od spornog sastanka tima u svlačionici 25 dana kasnije i niza dogovorenih rokova koji bi odbacili šest kavalira na drugom mjestu-Cavsi su podijeljeni među osam stolovima, a igračima je rečeno da isprobaju mješavinu, a zatim pomiješaju dijelove tri druga vina kako bi odgovarali smjesi. Ne daju im se postoci, moraju ići samo po ukusu. Koristeći graduirane staklene cilindre, igrači počinju miješati, bilježeći količine.

Formula za Brio je 65 posto cabernet sauvignon, 30 % cabernet franc i 5 % petit verdot. Mnogi se približavaju tačnoj formuli. Ali kad se pregledaju rezultati, jedan igrač, koji je posjetio ovu vinariju mjesecima ranije, krajem augusta, dolazi najbliže.

"Imam ga, imam ga!" Viče Kevin Love. I zaista, on je blizu, vrlo blizu, samo dodir prebogat, procentualni poen previše sitnog verdota. Petice se razmenjuju za njegovim stolom. "S nama je budući vinar", kažu vlasnici Love. "Od svih priznanja u mojoj karijeri, to je gore", šali se Love.

Kasnije te noći, Griffin, koji sada živi u Sonomi sa suprugom, stići će u odmaralište u kojem borave Cavsi, a Love će Griffina umotati u medvjeđi zagrljaj.

"Jesu li ti rekli?" Ljubav će pitati. "Bio sam 1 posto od savršenog!"

Još NBA

Razmotrimo još jednu scenu u svlačionici Cavsa, nakon što su izgubili od Kingsa na gostovanju 109:95, što je drugi poraz tima u onom što će postati 7-13 dionica što dovodi do promjene sastava 8. februara. Sjedeći u svom ormariću, napadač Channing Frye, koji će biti među šest trgovaca Cavaliersa, raspravlja o vinu i njegovoj ulozi u timu. "To nije samo poput 'Ovdje Jack and Coca", kaže Frye. "Kao da je svaka boca vina drugačija. I mislim da je to samo prikaz nas i našeg međusobnog odnosa."

Mnogi, poput Jamesa i Wadea, vole velike, odvažne Napa crvene. Frye ljeti živi u Oregonu i uživa u lokalnim jelima, a kako je napredovao u srednjim godinama, počeo je preferirati dobar pinot noir - kao i Kyle Korver. Ipak, Frye se ne boji probati Tempranillo koji mu je poklonio Jose Calderon, niti odlutati u južnoameričko vino.

Napitak je uvijek prisutan u timskom avionu, gdje su obavezne oznake kvalitete (igrači donose boce, a Frye se često dostavlja). Bio je to dar du jour tokom njihove posljednje razmjene Tajni Djed Mraz. Možda nije samo po sebi bilo dovoljno da se spisak spasi od preokreta. No, jedan menadžer restorana, koji radi u hotelu Zapadne konferencije koji je ugostio Cavaliers, napominje da kad počne vinska usluga, svi prestaju. "Svi obraćaju pažnju i govore o nosu, boji i aromi vina", kaže menadžer. "To je nevjerovatno." Ali ko naručuje najbolje vino na ovim večerama? Frye, koji još uvijek sjedi u ormariću, naginje se naprijed, zabacujući glavu unatrag, zastajući i odmjeravajući mogućnosti.

"Vjerovatno Kevin", kaže Frye nakon takta, a Love, koji sjedi desno od Frye, s nogama namočenim u kantu s ledom nakon što se 30 minuta borio protiv Kingsa, cijeni to spominjanje. Ljubav potiče iz Oregona, ponosi se time što ne uživa u vinu na slatkoj bijeloj boji, već je umjesto toga slavna crvena njegova matična država.

"On ima najjednostavniji ukus", nastavlja Frye, "ali i on."

"Najjednostavnije okus ?! "Ljubav ga prekida, razrogačenih očiju, podignutih obrva, glave nagnute prema naprijed.

"Mislim najlakše okus ", kaže Frye." Umukni. "

"Najjednostavnije okusiti? "Ljubav se ponavlja.

Reporter se javlja: "Osnovno, vrsta?"

Frye: "Ne, ne bih rekao elementarno."

Frye: "Jednostavno je. Dobivate samo čiste boce vina."

Ljubav: "Nisam htjela ići s tim jednostavno."

Frye: "Koja je riječ za to? Vrlo solidno."

Ljubav: "To je 'jednostavno'? Nije."

Frye: "Pouzdan, veoma pouzdan ukus. F --- ti, Kevine. "

Ljubav, koja i dalje ljutito gleda Fryeja, zastaje za trenutak, pa još jedan. "Jednostavno?"

"Igram najbolju loptu u svom životu i pijem vino skoro svaki dan." - LeBron James Dwight Eschliman za ESPN

U PEĆINAMA morning shootaround before their loss in Sacramento, Wade, sitting along the sideline, about six weeks before being traded back to Miami, is asked who on the Cavs knows the most about wine. Without hesitation, he points at James, who stands across the court. "He knows a lot. It's just something he don't want to share," Wade says. "But when we go out, it's, Bron, what wine we getting? You ask most of the guys on the team who orders the wine, we leave it to him to order."

Indeed, among the Cavs, the legend of LeBron's oenophilia is large.

As Love says, when it comes to wine, "Bron has a supercomputer in his brain."

"LeBron," Griffin says, "has instant recall. If he's driving on vacation and he passes a field that has lavender and seven other scents in it, LeBron can literally put his nose in a glass of wine three years later and say, 'I smell lavender.'"

And now, as James begins shooting around the 3-point arc, drawing conspicuously within earshot, he halts his routine to look toward Wade. "See," Wade says, "he heard 'wine,' so that's why he stopped."

James laughs. Wade is right. LeBron was creeping on us. He's also right that when it comes to wine, the world's greatest player is as tightly corked as a bottle of Château Latour. One need only peruse James' Instagram account to see how deep his passion for wine runs. But ask LeBron today about his favorite wine? Not going there. A specific region? Producer? Not going there either. Who knows the most on his team? No comment. Around the league? He'd rather not say. Was there a specific wine he was looking forward to trying on his pre-birthday Napa trip? "Yeah," James says, finally. "Every last one of them."

He'll admit he believes in wine's purported physical benefits: "I've heard it's good for the heart. Listen, I'm playing the best basketball of my life, and I'm drinking some wine pretty much every day. Whatever it is, I'll take it." Still, James knows he's a Worldwide Brand. And surrendering certain details will affect The Brand. ("I know how genuine I am about it," James says, "I just don't talk about it.") But he is willing to spill a few drops of his origin story.

As recently as a few years ago, James, by his own admission, "was not a wine guy. I didn't drink wine at all." But as he neared 30, his curiosity piqued -- and it helped that business partner Maverick Carter was a wine aficionado.

So he began sampling wines, learning more about vines, regions, reds, whites, blends. During a visit to a Napa winery with Chris Paul last August, James squeezed his frame into the back of a 1980s Toyota Land Cruiser, retrofitted to look like a safari buggy, and they explored the property, asking about what makes Napa unique, about the soil, sunlight, how to know which grapes to plant and where. James was especially interested in the business elements. How much does it all cost? How much time does it all take?

At one point, he let his now-3-year-old daughter, Zhuri, sip a high-end label. "Ooh, it tastes like rocks!" she told him. "It's nasty." (Although rocks, let it be known, are a tasting note, so perhaps Zhuri James was actually right on the nose.)

On another recent visit to a Napa winery, James wandered the vines, tasting grapes, asking about the business side. He tried two cabernet sauvignons, grown in different areas but made by the same producer. "I really want to know why they're different," he said. He was shown the dirt each was grown in -- one featured more gravel, the other more iron. Smell that, he was told, then go smell the wine. He did, and understood.

That, at least, is part of his origin story. But there exists another chapter -- and one that involves a famously fruity inflatable form of flotation.

Now on Dwyane Wade's table: his own wine, with notes of cured tobacco, dark chocolate and blueberry pie. Bob Metelus

HERE IS THE dilemma: They have rented a yacht, and they have ordered food for said yacht, but they do not yet have wine to pair with said food on said yacht. It is the very definition of a First World quandary, and it is taking place in the Bahamas during a July 2015 vacation. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade must decide on a wine.

In the weeks, months and years to follow, this afternoon will be remembered for an altogether different thing: A photo of James, Wade and Paul perched atop a banana boat, along with Union, will go viral, and nothing thereafter will ever be the same. Never mind that the idea was Union's. And never mind that Anthony himself wasn't there. Wade, James, Anthony and Paul will become known as Team Banana Boat, a foursome as iconic as history will ever know.

But in the backdrop of this now-hallowed gathering, another photo will emerge, a photo that shows all four players on a yacht toasting with glasses of red wine. This photo was snapped on the yacht's top level, just hours after the banana boat excursion, as sunshine fell into night. It remains unclear what wine they imbibed all Anthony remembers is telling his friends that he'd bring his own he didn't trust, at this point, their palates. Wade remembers ordering Pahlmeyer as he broke the news to his friends that he'd agreed to partner with the winery. But attendees agree that this marked the moment when their personal wine journeys truly intertwined.

"That was, like, the beginning for them," Anthony recalls of that day's bottles. "They would [dabble], have a glass here, have a glass there. But that was the beginning of really starting to open up."

"It started there and went from there," Wade says.

The Banana Boat Tasting Group had set sail.

IT'S NEARLY MIDNIGHT on Oct. 25 when James, Wade and Isaiah Thomas enter a cozy restaurant in New York City's Greenwich Village after a five-point loss to the Nets. Brick walls constitute one side of the eatery, along with midcentury decor and turquoise tile -- a subtle tropical vibe with vintage glassware lining the bar's back wall. Though this restaurant comfortably seats only about 14, close to 25 will fill it tonight, thanks to friends and associates.

James, Wade and Thomas are sitting together, and soon heavy portions of red-sauced Italian dishes -- spicy rigatoni, chicken Parmesan -- sit before them. And to drink? Well, the establishment is known for its craft cocktails, so one staffer expects that they'll bring out Don Julio 1942 and that will be that. But no. Oregon pinot noir is ordered off the menu, and one member of their party unveils bottles of old Barolo from his private cellar. Over the next three hours, perhaps half a dozen bottles are opened, and each time, the mood turns serious: Players swirl the glasses, taking in whiffs, sipping the wine, discussing. Out come the phones, as they snap away at the labels -- and log on to something called Vivino.

Launched in 2011, the Danish application was created to help non-wine experts navigate the intimidating universe, largely by allowing users to snap a picture of a label and be fed instant insight: tasting notes, food pairings, average retail price. Billing itself as the world's largest wine community, Vivino allows users to buy wine -- and if you enjoy a bottle, offers recommendations for others you might also like.

"Shoutout to my Vivino app," Curry says. As Love says, "It's like Netflix for wine." For Blazers guard CJ McCollum? "It's life-changing."

One need only hold a phone 6 inches from a bottle and snap away, then Vivino shoots back a rating based on thousands of user opinions. It organizes scanned wines, creating pie charts that show users' taste profile. Users can follow their friends and study their wine selections -- friends like, say, the Banana Boat Tasting Group. But if those users happen to play in the NBA, they can find so many more.

Hawks swingman Kent Bazemore credits his wife first for introducing him to reds, namely pinot noir, but also praises veterans he has teamed with: Korver, Paul Millsap, Richard Jefferson. "It's smooth, hangovers aren't there," he says. "It helps you settle down before bed."

Rockets forward Ryan Anderson and his wife honeymooned in New Zealand last August just because he enjoys the local sauvignon blanc so much.

For Lakers forward Luol Deng, it started in 2013 when the Bulls were playing a preseason game in Brazil. He went out with Butler, Nazr Mohammed and Joakim Noah, and they enjoyed Argentine malbec.

Shaun Livingston wasn't into wine before he joined the NBA but spent his early years with the Clippers, around veteran forward Elton Brand and guard Cuttino Mobley -- "big wine connoisseurs," Livingston says -- and today professes a love for cabernet. "More fruity, more bold, a little aged," he says. He's hardly alone on the NBA team that resides less than an hour from one of the great winemaking regions of the world Livingston, Curry, Durant, Nick Young and Draymond Green also indulge.

Philadelphia 76ers guard J.J. Redick started drinking wine early in his NBA career, dabbling with cabernet and chardonnay. Now he prefers Barolos and burgundies, and for his birthdays, Redick's wife procures him a bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, "DRC" as the sky-high-priced wine is known. On a recent 76ers road trip, Redick looked around the team plane. Back when Redick was drafted in 2006, he often saw, say, a bottle of vodka, Hennessey, or a 12-pack of Coors Light on team flights -- and that was basically it. Sad? Says Redick: "It's pretty much exclusively wine."

Then there's McCollum, who today likes pinot noir ("We're going to have a lot of pinot tonight!" he declared after a 50-point performance in January) and has a cellar that holds 500 bottles. His backcourt mate Damian Lillard enjoys a good riesling. Forward Evan Turner is such a fan that, McCollum says, Turner spends his off-days going to local wineries. "I didn't even know," McCollum says. "He told me, and I was like, 'You've been doing this all year and you didn't tell me?' I was a little upset."

Gregg Popovich, it must be said, is revered in the world of wine, with a reported 3,000-bottle cellar highlighted in Wine Spectator. But Pop has a head start on many players who are new to the gilded grape so who among them now knows the most? Answers vary, unless you ask Anthony. "I'd probably be that guy," he says, proudly and without hesitation.

But what of Kobe "Vino" Bryant? The Lakers icon doesn't live up to the sobriquet he embraced in 2013 after hearing that his game aged as such. "I've heard that red is better with steak," Bryant says with a laugh. "That's about as far as I know."

So when Bryant and Anthony go out to dinner, Bryant slides the wine list across the table: "Melo," he says. "Do your thing."

Jimmy Butler brought bottles of pinot noir to the 2016 Olympics in his wine case. Dwight Eschliman for ESPN

IT'S JULY 2015, and Chris Miller is at his day job, working at a tech firm inside a downtown Los Angeles warehouse where it so happens that a charity commercial starring Chris Paul is being shot.

Someone mentions to Paul's wife that Miller is also a master sommelier -- a remarkably exclusive title. (Consider that 279 coaches and players have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame 236 human beings are master sommeliers.) "Oh my god, Chris loves wine," she tells Miller, explaining that they had a very good bottle just the night before. She turns to her husband. "Show him your app." Paul opens Vivino and shows Miller a photo of wine.

Miller says this sort of thing happens to him from time to time, typically to poor effect. Imagine you were a chess grandmaster and the passenger next to you in coach wanted to talk chess strategy. It's like that. But then CP3's photo loads -- and it's a Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Taillepieds.

Miller pauses. The premier cru red Burgundy is smooth and graceful but hard to find, made by a small producer that isn't exactly a household name, a wine some sommeliers Miller knows don't even know. But it's excellent, a wine you'd be drinking only if you really knew what you were doing.

"Nobody talks about cars or jewelry. It's who can bring the best bottle of wine."

- Actress Gabrielle Union on husband Dwyane Wade's new obsession

There exists in the oenophile world a class of wealthy drinkers who can best be classified as "trophy hunters" -- those who pursue only break-the-bank bottles such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti or Screaming Eagle but aren't really interested, otherwise, in understanding wine. But as Miller says of Paul's bottle: "It's not a trophy. It's something a knowledgeable wine lover drinks because it's delicious, not because they're showing off."

If Miller is impressed by Paul, Paul is all the more impressed by Miller. ("You ever seen Somm?" Paul at one point asks of a documentary on four sommeliers' near-crippling effort to pass the notoriously brutal master sommelier exam, with a pass rate of lower than 10 percent. "That was one of the craziest things I've ever seen.") So Paul scrolls through the app, allowing Miller to see the Banana Boat Tasting Group's selections, each one delicious and well-thought-out.

Over the next year, Paul and Miller stay in touch. Miller helps arrange an anniversary wine-tasting trip to Santa Barbara for Paul and his wife. Then Paul calls Miller in the fall of 2016. "Hey, are you in Napa this weekend?" on pita.

"Oh, I'm supposed to go up tonight," lies Miller, who is in the midst of waxing bottle tops at a winery where he works in Marina.

"Why don't you come have dinner with us?" Paul asks. Miller, naturally, drops everything and makes the three-hour drive from Marina to meet Paul at the Press Restaurant in St. Helena, where the general manager greets him at the door.

"What are you doing here? I haven't seen you in a year."

"Oh, just meeting some friends for dinner."

The general manager searches Miller's face, trying to read whether he's part of a private party or not, but not wanting to give away who is attending that party. Soon in walks Paul . and LeBron James. They head to the restaurant's private back room, about eight people, including James and Paul and their wives.

Over the next few hours of a lavish dinner, they open about six bottles, ranging from $50 to $1,000, each one discussed and savored. "I was kind of blown away," Miller says. "I mean, their breadth of knowledge and comfort with the wines was greater than I've seen from some major wine collectors."

Because you are, after all, the company you keep .

"I KNOW YOU don't know me," the phone call begins, "but I've got a group of guys that I'm taking around the country, and your name has come up, and we'd like to have a dinner in your wine cellar."

Devinder Bhatia, a Houston-based heart surgeon, isn't surprised. He has received calls like this one before. His cellar -- featured in Wine Spectator -- boasts 7,500 high-end bottles, worth well into seven figures, with wines dating to 1898. Such is the cellar's notoriety that he has hosted two Texas governors, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, NFL legends Jim Brown and Ronnie Lott, acclaimed chef Wolfgang Puck and rapper Ludacris. On the other end of this July 2016 phone call is Kamal Hotchandani, CEO of Haute Living, a luxury media platform and the point of contact for several NBA stars for luxury goods, including wines, watches, exotic cars and more.

And so a month later, on Aug. 1, at 9:30 p.m., Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan and Carmelo Anthony arrive at Bhatia's Victorian redbrick home in Houston's Museum District.

All three are with Team USA, which on this night trounced Nigeria to complete a 5-0 exhibition record. In a few days, the team will head to the Rio Olympics, but first Anthony wants to visit Bhatia's cellar.

Wine became Bhatia's passion in 1990, when a 1989 Châteauneuf-du-Pape paired perfectly with his steak. It started a fixation that would help serve as a respite, a way to decompress after work, where, he says, "if you miss by a millimeter, someone dies."

No one will die tonight. In fact, not long into the night, Durant, Jordan and Anthony enter a pool house, descend a wooden staircase, duck through a curved stone entryway and feel the chill of 55-degree air -- the temperature and humidity controlled by an app on Bhatia's phone. Inside the 30-by-35-foot space are wall-to-wall, two-bottle-deep, handmade stained mahogany racks that can hold up to 14,000 bottles. Through another stone entryway, Anthony admires the 200-plus bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti -- considered among the world's most sought-after wines -- in various vintages, a collection worth more than half a million on its own.

Over the next several hours, during a five-course meal with two wines per course for a party of about 20, the players discuss characteristics of each wine. Durant and Jordan, relatively new to wine, favor California wines, but Anthony professes his love for old-world bottles, Burgundies and Bordeaux, among other more esoteric wines. "He gets it," Bhatia says. "He really gets it."

The players stay until well into the early morning, shooting hoops on Bhatia's driveway goal with his 14-year-old son, Drake, around 3 a.m. And the next time the Knicks are in Houston, for a New Year's Eve matchup against the Rockets, Bhatia is in his usual spot -- center court, behind the Rockets' owner, a few rows from the floor, where he has four season tickets. As Anthony runs out for warm-ups, he stops and heads over to Bhatia.

"Hey! I'm coming over after the game," Anthony tells him. "We're gonna drink some wine."

After the game, Anthony leaves not with the Knicks but with one of Texas' most acclaimed wine collectors.

THE MORNING AFTER the Cavs' wine-filled tour through Napa Valley, they gather for practice at nearby St. Helena High School before heading to Salt Lake City. Sitting to the side of the gym court, James is jovial. "We had one heck of a time," he tells a small group of reporters. He thanks local wineries for their hospitality -- for "literally opening their bottles for this organization, for myself." In mid-October, when the fires had burned, James had posted a video with his condolences and prayers to those affected in the area. Mention the NBA to Napa winemakers these days and that video will come up. "That meant a lot," Paul Roberts says, "to all of us."

Roberts, a master sommelier, is the COO of Colgin Cellars in St. Helena, and though the winery isn't open for public tours, James visited with friends last summer. When he arrived, James was studying clips of Michael Jordan on his phone. Roberts tucked the image away: the greatest basketball player on earth, not satisfied, still focused on becoming greater by watching the player who held that title before him.

Throughout a two-hour visit, James sought to understand every element of what was before him, how it all translated into the bottle. And Roberts reached an epiphany of sorts. James reminded him of others at the top of their fields -- all fascinated, if not obsessed, with high performance. "When you look at LeBron and Chris Paul and a lot of these other guys," Roberts says, "they've spent thousands of hours not only honing their body but also their mind. And this is why the wine world to them, I think, is fascinating."

And so, at Colgin, they can look out from the hillside property at 20 acres of cabernet sauvignon vineyards, so meticulously farmed they look like a bonsai garden. They can gaze from the patio where tastings occur at the sweeping views across Lake Hennessey. They can savor Napa's picturesque blue sky. They can admire its saturated light, all the better to grow some of the world's premier grapes. They can pace through the vines, picking the grapes, asking about the sunlight and soil, probing ever deeper, perhaps understanding better than most the quest to grow and create something beautiful.


Most Stylish: MDRN Home Glass Bottle Stopper

Add a touch of design to any wine bottle with these chic, fun glass stoppers by MDRN Home. Both elegant and functional, the stoppers have three styles and two color options to choose from: a diamond, cat or dog shape in either smoky gray or clear. They are also eco-friendly and feature a silicone seal for effortless recorking.


Wine Slushy or Wine Slushie, that is the question.

Actually, it doesn't really matter what you call it because this perfect alcoholic concoction is ideal when you want some wine and a frozen drink too.

Wine slushies have been around for quite awhile now, but I've never tired one before trying this recipe.

My Mom, who knows me too well, emails me an article about freezing wine into slushies.

Then she told me I had to make one ASAP and write a post about it. What Mama wants, Mama gets.

Honesty, I was a little uninspired going into this recipe because I thought:

  • How could I love wine any more than I already do, so what's the point of freezing it??
  • What a pain to have to freeze the wine and then blend it up to have it taste just like wine.


Wine Sulfites Are Fine, But Here's How to Remove Them Anyway

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For millions of drinkers, the scariest two words on a bottle of wine are “CONTAINS SULFITES.”

Sulfites comprise a range of sulfur compounds---particularly sulfur dioxide (SO2)---that are a natural by-product of the fermentation process that work as a preservative against certain yeast and bacteria (which will quickly destroy a wine if they start to multiply). But fermentation alone doesn’t produce enough sulfite to preserve a wine for more than a few weeks or months in the bottle, so winemakers add extra in order to keep microbes at bay. Sulfites aren’t just in wine. Many, many foods ranging from crackers to coconut contain sulfites. Anything that’s at all processed is likely to contain at least some level of sulfites.

In 1986, the FDA identified sulfites as an allergen, following a rash of asthma cases reported around that time. Sulfites were promptly banned from raw fruits and vegetables, and as part of the warning label push in the late 1980s the feds required that sulfites be disclosed on wine labels if they could be detected at a level of 10 mg/L or higher. If you prove your wine has less than that, you can apply for an exemption---thus so-called “sulfite-free” wines exist. They are universally quite vile. Though many foreign producers include US warning labels, technically the rules only apply to domestic wines. Either way, sulfites are a regular part of winemaking around the world as a matter of necessity. Just because your bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape doesn’t have the warning doesn’t mean it isn’t full of sulfites.

And that’s how the hysteria over sulfites in wine got started.

Put simply, sulfites are to wine as gluten is to food. While the FDA says the overall prevalence of “sulfite sensitivity” is unknown, it notes that it is “probably low” and is most frequently associated with severe asthmatics. That hasn’t stopped all manner of people---many of whom are furiously typing out an angry comment below as you read this---from laying claim to sulfite sensitivity, arguing that the sulfites in wine cause a wide range of medical conditions. The big one: headaches.

Do sulfites cause headaches? Legions of drinkers say they do. Science says they don’t. (Same goes for MSG, by the way.) Here’s a look at the research.

A 2008 study in The Journal of Headache and Pain on alcohol and headaches said that even in individuals with asthmatic sulfite sensitivity, sulfites have not been shown to cause headaches. The study goes on to say that “On the other hand, there are many foods such as dried fruits, chips, raisins, soy sauce, pickles and juice fruits containing concentration of sulphites [sic] even ten times higher than that of wine.”

The Journal of Head and Face Pain noted in 2014 that “Sulfites were once linked to headache after wine ingestion. However, most of this belief is either speculative or in fact wrong, since the food and wine preservative sulfur dioxide (SO2), called generically sulfite, although present in wines, is much more existent in common foods that do not trigger headache attacks, such as dried fruit… Moreover, recently produced organic wines contain lower levels of sulfites or, indeed, have none at all, but the persistence of the headache triggering potential remains. In addition, published literature has not yet established any links between the presence of sulfite and headache.” (In other words, studies have found that people complain of headaches just as much after drinking sulfite-free wines.)

That said, many people do experience headaches when drinking red wine, so much so that Red Wine Headache has been acryonmmed to RWH. While the science is as yet unclear, major suspects include histamine and tyramine, two natural chemicals that can mess with blood pressure and lead to headaches. (Fun fact: Red wines have more histamine, but white wines usually have much more sulfite.) There’s also the inconvenient argument that wine contains lots alcohol, which has a significant dehydrating---and thus headache-inducing---effect.

But let’s say you have an asthmatic sulfite sensitivity but still want to drink wine and want to get rid of the sulfites. Or maybe you still think sulfites are giving you a headache. Is there a way they can be removed from wine after it’s already in the bottle?

It turns out there is, and that method is far less high-tech than you might think. The solution lies in a familiar brown bottle in every suburban bathroom: hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes sulfites, turning sulfite into hydrogen sulfate, which does not cause the types of problems that are associated with sulfites. It’s long been said that a few drops of H2O2 in your wine will eliminate the sulfites altogether, at least in theory.

A number of products on the market also claim to eliminate sulfites in wine. 22SO2GO ($25 for 100 uses) comes in a small bottle that is sprayed into a glass of wine. (A single-use packet version, designed for desulfitizing an entire bottle, is also available.) Just the Wine ($6 for 25 uses) comes in a tiny bottle and is applied via drops in much the same way, directly into the glass. While there’s some flowery language surrounding both products, it doesn’t take long to suss out their active ingredient: both are simply water and hydrogen peroxide.

I put both products to the test---along with some household H2O2---to see if they really worked as advertised. I tested with old and young wines, domestics and imports, reds and whites.

I used standard sulfite test trips to roughly measure sulfite levels. These strips use shades of pink to approximate sulfites and don’t give you an exact number, but generally I found that untreated wines had sulfite levels between 50 and 100 mg/L, exactly what most experts claim.

Both SO2GO and Just the Wine were effective at lowering sulfite levels, but used as directed, Just the Wine had a greater impact with less product added to the wine glass---its three drops reduced the amount of sulfite in the wine by half. SO2GO’s recommended two sprays took sulfites down by about a third, but another couple of sprays took it roughly to parity with Just the Wine. Neither had any noticeable impact on the taste of the wine---but these were hardly first-growth Bordeaux I caliber wines.

For kicks, I dumped about half an ounce of standard pharmacy hydrogen peroxide into a glass of wine, and that was able to nearly eliminate the sulfites altogether. Unfortunately, at that concentration, the wines succumbed to some seriously off flavors, bitter and metallic notes that were readily noticeable. The custom products might be the same stuff, but it was far easier to control their application and arguably safer than using bulk peroxide, as both claim to use “food grade” H2O2 in their formulation and are designed for small-scale application. The idea of bringing a jug of pharmacy hydrogen peroxide to dinner does have a certain anarchic appeal, though.

So, the TLDR version of all of this is that sulfites probably don’t cause headaches---at least, they don’t cause your headaches---but if you’re concerned about sulfites you can dial them back a bit (but not completely) through some simple hydrogen peroxide drops.


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