Carmelo Anthony is more than a basketball player, he’s also a oenophile, otherwise known as a “connoisseur of wines.”
The Trail Blazers forward has a passion for the best vintage wine there is, and he wants to know everything about vino, despite not being very good at chemistry.
In this week’s Melo Mondays episode, Anthony takes us behind-the-scenes at Domaine Serene, one of the Willamette Valley’s premiere destinations for growing and producing world-class Pinot Noir.
“This is a place where I feel like I can come here and enjoy the wine,” Melo said in the video. “They open their doors up to me, like we’ve had a relationship for a long, long time. That is always something I will appreciate.”
Anthony said he grew to appreciate the Oregon wine industry due to its well-crafted Pinot Noir. The Willamette Valley’s cool climate and volcanic soil make it the perfect place to produce one of the most fickle, thin-skinned grapes around, known as Pinot Noir.
“Oregon wine stands out because they know what their here to make, they’re here to make Pinot Noir wine,” Melo said. “They don’t try to do nothing outside of that norm. Over the years, that’s a reason I’ve started to fall in love with.”
He continued: “The more you get into it, the more you start drinking it, the more that your kind of experiencing it, understanding it, it’s really to each its own.”
Anthony isn’t the only Trail Blazer who has become obsessed with wine. His teammate CJ McCollum frequently takes advantage of his proximity to the Willamette Valley, visiting vineyards like Adelsheim and Beaux Freres on his days off.
On the NBA Instagram account Monday, Damian Lillard said fans asked him where McCollum was at. His response? “He’s probably drinking some wine,” Lillard said.
“I got to wait until happy hour,” McCollum joked back.
While McCollum and Anthony continue to explore their passion for wine, the NBA remains on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. This Wednesday will mark two weeks since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the postponement of league competition. It’s a stance Anthony says he supports.
“Anytime the NBA can suspend a season, you know that there’s more going on out there in the world,” Melo said. “It’s bigger than the NBA. It’s something that the NBA can’t fight, it’s something the NBA can’t touch. It’s deeper and bigger than the NBA.”
He continued: “So, I condone Adam Silver for making that decision on suspending the NBA because if the NBA wouldn’t have suspended it, the other leagues wouldn’t have followed. It’s a lot of things that’s been affected. So, everybody just got to take their time and figure out what that plan is.”