In 2018, ESPN writer Baxter Holmes blew the cover off the long-simmering love affair between millennial NBA stars and the world of fine wine. So it makes sense, as the 2019 season approaches, that Oregon baby boomer wine progenitors Adelsheim Vineyards have teamed up with the Blazers for a series of limited-edition wine releases to celebrate the team's 50th anniversary in hoops.
Adelsheim manages a whopping 200 acres of estate vines in the Chehalem Mountains, just outside Newberg, and its wines are not cheap—most everything runs $75 and up. That makes the $50 price tag on these Blazer wines a comparative bargain. (Even better, 10 percent of the sale price of each bottle goes to benefit the Trail Blazers Foundation.) Each bottle is adorned with eye-catching art by designer Bethany Ng, so if it's your dream to drink from a bottle with "Rip City, Baby" emblazoned on it, it's probably worth a buy no matter what the actual product tastes like.
And for what it's worth, the stuff inside the bottle isn't bad. The pinot is surprisingly delicate and measured, with flavors of blackberry, rose petal jam, and miso. It'll be available by the glass in the Rose Quarter this season, and it's easy to imagine sipping with some nachos or whatever. The chardonnay fares far worse—it tastes like somebody dosed the bottle with eye droppers of vanilla extract and liquid wood chips.
If the pinot is like CJ McCollum—pretty good, arguably overpriced, but fine for the Blazers—the chardonnay is like Meyers Leonard: underachieving and better off in Florida.
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the label artist Bethany Ng. WW regrets the error.
BUY IT: Adelsheim's Commemorative Blazer Wines are available for order at adelsheim.com/blazers.