Even though you can buy little individual bottles of wine at Nationals Park, I really can’t say that I would ever associate baseball with wine. And yet, Major League Baseball just got into the wine business with the launch of its own line-up of baseball teams branded wine. According to Fast Company, MLB couldn’t get into the beer business because of its exclusivity deal with Budweiser. But wine was fair game and so in 2014, the Giants, Yankees, Mariners, Red Sox, Rangers, Phillies, and Cubs got their own custom blends and branded bottles.
Obviously, there are baseball fans who are also wine fans because the program was successful enough to be extended to 13 additional teams this year, including the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals. All of the bottles are available for purchase on MLB’s website though I also spotted a few bottles of the Washington Nationals™ Club Series 2013 Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon at one of my fave wine store, Fork & Cork, over the weekend ($25.99 each.)
MLB partnered with Wine By Design, a lifestyle marketing agency.The wines are supposed to be “tailored to each individual team for fans to enjoy all season long” which for DC (and Baltimore actually… the teams’ vinos are actually the same) means Central Coast cabernet grapes. The New York Yankees, which sold 6,000 bottles out of the 11,000 produced the first year of the partnership, actually have a wine with more local ties: a Finger Lakes Riesling from Anthony Road Winery. The Phillies and the Mariners also get wines made with some local grapes, from Pennsylvania’s Chaddsford winery and Washington state’s Columbia Valley respectively. The Nationals just get California grapes and a pretty lame blurb with overused puns about gridlock. Womp womp. Looks like this wine isn’t about to turn me into a Nats fan anytime soon 😉