Trail Blazers

Carmelo Anthony returning to Blazers could rest on the pinot noir

Trail Blazers

With Trail Blazers veteran and future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony currently visiting family in Baltimore, Melo still took the time to do a virtual wine tasting with Acker Wines on Tuesday night.  

The hour-long Zoom video call was fun and informative as Anthony along with Acker Wines Chairman John Kapon, discussed all things basketball and wine, while tasting five very different red wines.

One vintage bottle of wine that Anthony has yet to try, but really wants to indulge in is a 1945 Mouton.

That was not on tap for Melo in the Acker Wines’ “All-Stars Uncorked,” series event which has also featured JJ Reddick and is still yet to feature Paul Pierce and Kevin Love.

The tasting started off with a “young vintage” wine:

2005 Chateau Trotanoy $299

Melo said that he had never had this one before, which has been described as “succulent” from esteemed critic and wine writer, Jancis Robinson.

Fittingly enough, it was in 2005 when Melo started drinking wine.

“I started drinking white wine,” the 17-year NBA veteran explained.

Anthony's first discovery with wine was a bottle of 2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia.

As the tasting continued, fans that had registered to join the "All-Stars Uncorked" event were able to interact with Melo.

Fans asked both basketball and wine questions.

Melo discussed his collection of wine and admitted that if it’s in his house it’s there to drink, not to hold on to for years and years.

 

I have a cellar, external storage that I keep the wine in. At home, I just have my wine that I like to drink… I’m not the guy who holds his wine. I like to enjoy my wine with great people, great conversations, great food.

Carmelo Anthony during Acker Wine’s “All-Stars Uncorked” event

But the big question was:

What is more valuable -- the veteran forward’s sneaker collection or wine collection?

“I think my wine collection,” Melo said initially.

BUT then after some thought he admitted:

“I’m going to have to take that back. You’ve got the resale market going crazy,” he said with a smile. And then it was back to the Acker tastings.

Next up:

2004 Chateau Palmer $249

What we learned about this wine is:

With ‘Chateau Palmer’ it doesn’t matter the kind, it will be a great bottle of wine as John explained.

“This ’04 is very good… It’s a very underrated wine,” Melo added.  

With the NBA and wine relationship continuing to grow in recent years, Anthony discussed the wide range of players who enjoy a glass here and there.  

Wine is very prevalent in the NBA today. A lot of guys enjoy it. A lot of guys drink it. It’s grown… It’s social. So when you’re traveling… It brings teams together. It brings guys together.

And now we know:

What happened in the Orlando bubble beside practices and games --

There was a lot of wine drinking.

There was so much wine in the bubble it was incredible.

Carmelo Anthony

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum converted his NBA bubble room into a wine cooler 

Melo also explained that as long as he is training every day and staying in shape, he can have a daily glass of wine, which is something he said is a must. 

As for tasting No. 3 -- 1989 Chateau Pichon Baron $329 -- we learned (for all the newbies to wine out there) that the year 1989 is where it’s at as far as wines go! 

Yep, ’89 is the best wine year in the modern era.

“You can’t go wrong with anything ’89… But this is a special bottle,” Anthony said.

While sipping on the ’89 Chateau Pichon Baron, Anthony talked more about the wine in the Bubble.

“I think everybody that had wine had their own niche of what they were bringing.”

Melo explained that he was learning a lot about Oregon’s wine while the Blazers went 7-6 during the NBA restart including playoffs.

I was heavy Pinot down there. I was heavy Pinot Noir down there. Hence, Portland being in Oregon, so I was trying it out -- using that time to really taste a lot of the wines from Oregon.

Heck yes, shoutout to Oregon and its Pinot!  

Next up for the virtual tasting:

1983 Chateau Haut Brion $429

What we learned:

This one is a show-stopper, not just a beverage. This is a wine that makes you think about what you’re drinking. Plus, it has more of a gravely taste.

“This will be a classic for me,” Melo said.  

But what we really learned is that Oregon is a perfect spot for Anthony because Oregon is known for Melo’s favorite wine.

“I try all different types of wines… My go to wine is pinot noir. I can drink pinot all day, every day.”

So could that be a factor when Anthony is making his decision this offseason? 

 

Maybe. But there's also the fact that he has said he prays he will return next season as a Trail Blazers, so we have that to lean on as well. 

To end the virtual wine tasting, we all got a chance to learn about a value pick:  

2018 Chateau Godard $22.99

“Exceptional,” Melo said of this red wine. “You know what I like about this bottle is that we just drank '05, '04s and '89s and then you have this young, $20 bottle of wine, which is standing next to these bottles that we’re drinking.”

I will put this bottle in my lineup any day with any that I’m drinking.

And now after this comment from the Trail Blazers veteran wing:

“If you wouldn’t have told anybody that it was 20 dollars, nobody would know it’s 20 dollar,” – I think it’s time for us to try out this value pick!

But to end on a basketball note, as the tasting was wrapping up, Kapon asked Melo, who he had winning it all in this year’s NBA Finals?

“I’ll let you know after game one,” Melo joked.

Well, we didn’t get a champion prediction; but it was really fun to learn more about extremely nice wines in this virtual tasting with the future Hall of Famer. 

To find out more about the wine’s that Anthony tasted in the ‘All-Stars Uncorked’ event, you can check out ackerwines.com.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Kyle O'Quinn]: