As mentioned previously here and here, a number of former NFL players and coaches (and at least one team, the New York Jets) have become serious winemakers. A much bigger number than I had realized. After I wrote about Packers cornerback Charles Woodson's TwentyFour label, a couple of other NFL-related winemakers wrote in.

Terry Hoage, the former Saints/Eagles/Oilers/49ers/Cardinals defensive back has teamed up with his wife to run Terry Hoage Vineyards in Paso Robles, California, a boutique winery that focuses exclusively on Rhone varietals. ("This is the kind of wine the Central Valley should be producing more," Robert Parker wrote in the Wine Advocate last year.) Check out his wines here and a pretty good profile of him from the Eagles website here.

Word of the NFL's winemaking trend has made the leap from wine publications to sports publications, like Lloyd Vance's Takingit2theHouse.com. Reading his blog, I also learned that Major League Baseball has its own wine connections, including a Zinfandel from mustachioed former Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt (which, serendipitously, also comes from Paso Robles).

With so many wines, the next step seems clear to me: the Atlantic's Food Channel should organize an NFL wine tasting (and maybe rustle up Robert Parker, who seems to have tried them all). I'll have to raise the idea with management.

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