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From the Gridiron to the Vineyard: Panel Featuring Former Notre Dame Quarterback Rick Mirer

Find out what it’s like for a Pro Athlete to enter the wine world!

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University of Miami (FL) Hurricanes vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Rick Mirer #3, Quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish calls the play during the NCAA Independent college football game against the University of Miami (FL) Hurricanes on 20 October 1990 at the Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana, United States. Notre Dame won the game 29 - 20.
Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty Images

On Tuesday, May 25th, former Notre Dame quarterback Rick Mirer will join three other former NFL panelists (Will Blackmon, Charles Woodson, and Drew Bledsoe) as they discus what it’s like to go from the gridiron to the vineyard.

In a Facebook Live event hosted by Coravin, join in for “an Athletes in Wine panel discussion led by Will Blackmon of The Wine MVP. Featured panelists include Charles Woodson of Intercept Wines, Drew Bledsoe of Doubleback Winery, and Rick Mirer of Mirror Wine. The panel will be joined by Greg Lambrecht, Founder and Inventor of Coravin, to showcase the latest Wine Preservation System in the Coravin lineup, Coravin Pivot™.”

“The conversation will explore the winemakers’ individual stories and their involvement in the winemaking process – something that is sometimes misunderstood. The panel will untangle the current perception of athletes in the wine world, and debunk the myths that they ‘just slap their name on the label’ or ‘don’t get their hands dirty.’”

“Enjoy this 60-minute session, followed by Q&A, and follow along with wines from each of the athletes’ wineries with an exclusive wine tasting bundle.”

Purchase the Wine Tasting Bundle

Sip along with the panelists with this exclusive bundle of their wines, including:

2018 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, WA

2020 Mirror Wines Petaluma Gap Rosé, Petaluma Gap, CA

2019 Intercept Chardonnay, Monterey, CA

Coravin Pivot™ Wine Preservation System

Purchase here.

NOTE: To ensure timely delivery, East Coast recipients must choose Fedex Overnight after May 12. Otherwise allow 10+ business days for Fedex Home Delivery. Deadline for Overnight Delivery is May 20.

About the Panelists

Rick Mirer

Owner, Mirror Wines

Rick Mirer is a former American football quarterback in the NFL after a successful collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame. Rick was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks with the second pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. He went on to play for the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions. It was during his time in the Bay Area from 2000 to 2003 that he fell in love with Napa Valley. After his retirement from football in 2004, Rick went out to find the best vineyards and winemaking team he could find to make his dream of starting Mirror Napa Valley a reality. He is now working with some of the most interesting sites in the valley, with some of the most talented people in the industry – Oscar Renteria and Kirk Venge.

Will Blackmon

Owner, The Wine MVP

Will Blackmon played 12 seasons in the NFL. He played for the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, whom he won Super Bowl 46 with. He also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and finished his career with the Washington Redskins.

Will’s passion is wine. Due to his strong desire to learn more about wine, he went on to complete his level 2 and level 3 certification, through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, also known as the WSET. He also passed his Introductory exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Will is now coined as the “NFL Wine Guy”. He launched a VIP Wine Concierge business called, The WINE MVP as a way to educate, make wine more approachable as well as empower those looking to learn more about wine. All of this presented with the idea in mind that when it comes to fine wine, everyone can be an “MVP’.

In 2020 Will has been named one of Wine Enthusiasts “Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers” in the United States. He has also been featured in USA Today, Wine Spectator, & Vine Pair to name a few.

Charles Woodson

Owner, Intercept Wines

Charles Woodson is an 18-year NFL veteran, former NFL Defensive MVP and Heisman Trophy winner. He is a Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowl defensive back. The veteran player played his final season in 2015. He played college football for Michigan, where he led the Wolverines to a national championship in 1997. Woodson, a “two-way player” who played both offense and defense, won the Heisman Trophy in the same year. To date, he is the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman, and he is the most recent player to win the Heisman who was not either a running back or quarterback. Woodson went on to accomplish a storied career professionally with one of the most decorated professional football resumes of all time, considered by many of his peers to be one of the greatest defensive players to have ever played. He launched Intercept Wines in 2019.

Drew Bledsoe

Proprietor, Bledsoe Wine Estates

For former NFL Quarterback Drew Bledsoe, owning a winery has been a longtime aspiration that allows him to combine his passion for fine wine and love of the Walla Walla Valley, his hometown. Drew returned in 2007 to plant his original estate vineyard, McQueen, on the southern end of the Walla Walla Valley AVA. The following year, Drew and his wife, Maura, launched Doubleback, an estate-focused winery with the goal to produce world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. Drew collaborated with his childhood friend Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar, who consulted on all winemaking and vineyard practices while training current winemaker, Josh McDaniels. Josh earned the role with the 2014 vintage after nearly a decade of experience with the Figgins Family.

Since the very first release, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Doubleback has received numerous accolades including a spot on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List. Drew’s vision for Doubleback remains to be a premium wine experience completely focused on quality. To further assist that vision, Drew acquired a second estate vineyard, Bob Healy, in 2011, a third estate vineyard, Flying B, in 2016, and a fourth estate vineyard, Lefore, in 2017, all in the Walla Walla Valley. The Flying B estate is where the Doubleback winery is built and slated to open in 2018. Drew and Maura Bledsoe are committed to using only the most sustainable, superlative viticulture and winemaking practices to ensure that Doubleback will be one of the best bottles of wine you will drink.

Hope to “see” you there!

Cheers & GO IRISH!