Snoop Dogg, Raekwon and Mary J Blige are just a few of the celebrities who have found their way into the business of wine-making. Now, ten-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is preparing to join their ranks with his brand, VII(N) – The Seventh Estate.
You may be wondering why a professional basketball player would want to get into the wine game. But according to Melo, NBA players love themselves a good grape. “Wine is truly a part of the NBA culture. If you ask 30 different people, they will probably have 30 different taste profiles, but it goes to show that they do know what they want, right? They’re drinking it, so that’s a good thing. Getting a glass of wine is the thing to do now after a game. I love that because it’s 360 degrees from where it was before,” he told Haute Living in an interview.
Anthony says he didn’t always know how to order a good glass of wine. But after trying different varieties, he figured out what flavors suited him best. And during his time with the New York Knicks, he put together an exclusive, invite-only wine tasting group that turned into a friendly competition for the best bottle.
“When I got to New York, my palette expanded. I started meeting people, getting into wine circles, and [eventually] I started this thing I like to call ‘two-bottle Sundays’ where everybody brings their best two bottles every Sunday. You would get rated on the bottles you brought — and everyone wanted to bring their best,” he said.
Now he even discusses his love of wine on his podcast, What’s in Your Glass? Where he’s shared a glass with celebrities including D-Nice, Aunjanue Ellis and Marlon Wayans while talking about “the state of the world.”
When it came to creating his brand, Anthony was all in. He worked with Stéphane Usseglio of the famous Usseglio wine family and learned everything he could about wine from production to marketing. He’s launching with the first vintage, the 2017 Oath of Fidelity Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Melo chose the name as a reference to Toussaint Louverture, a leader in the Haitian Revolution.
Oath of Fidelity is described as a full-bodied red with subtle notes of cherries, lavender, sage and peppercorns, combined with blonde tobacco and dried tea leaves. The first bottles of Melo’s new vino will be available in the fall, but you can keep up with the brand on Instagram to get the latest updates.