Golfing and a glass of wine in hand

This summer while you are out working on the golf game, consider trying some wines from the many PGA players past and present who now dabble in vino when you hit the 19th hole.

~By Andrea Pollock

This summer while you are out working on the golf game, consider trying some wines from the many PGA players past and present who now dabble in vino when you hit the 19th hole.

Many of these wines are available at provincial and independent liquor stores right across Canada.

Canadian Mike Weir produced his first vintage in 2007; his wines are produced in the Niagara region and are widely available across Ontario. Mike’s wines also help to raise money for his Mike Weir Foundation, aimed at helping children with physical, emotional or financial need. With a similar charitable spirit in mind, women’s tour player Cristie Kerr collaborated with Pride Mountain Vineyards out of the Napa Valley to produce the label ‘Curvature’ in support of breast cancer research.

Both Ernie Els and Gary Player have wine labels from South Africa. Gary Player’s label, Black Knight Wines, was an obvious choice as Gary’s earned the nickname the black knight on the tour for his constant adornment of black clothes. Annika Sorenstam, Arnold Palmer and Luke Donald all have labels coming from California. While Arnold and Luke both feature a full series of varietals, Annika’s label has launched with just a single wine in 2009. Annika is also a budding chef so in the future don’t be surprised to see her label expand with different varietals.

Funny enough, Jack Nicklaus followed his other ‘Big 3’ members into the tasting room. Both Gary Player and Arnold Palmer were already well established in the wine world and Nicklaus must have felt left out, because he recently became the latest pro golfer to add his name to a wine label…. he certainly won’t be the last.

This weeks’ review is of an older vintage from a champion series of wines by Greg Norman. These wines have excellent cellaring potential for patient consumers and really are wines that you can take to the bank.

Wine of the week

Greg Norman Coonawarra Cabernet-Merlot 2004 – [Limestone Coast, Australia]

A pioneer in the celebrity wine-making arena, Greg Norman Estates has been expanding their vineyards throughout Australia and California wine making regions since the 1990’s.  This is a gorgeous, velvety wine with a bouquet of leather, sweet smoke and humidor.  On the palate black cherry, blackberry and pink peppercorn round out the silky tannins; even with a high percentage of alcohol there is very little heat.  This shows well with a rack of lamb or a prime rib entree alongside roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed beets.  A great candidate for cellaring, for collectors who can show restraint and can save for nearly a decade – I had the privilege of opening up 2000 Coonawarra Cab-Merlot at Christmas with family in 2008, it was one of the most wonderful wines I have ever had.   –  91/100