Charles Woodson is something of a vinophile. So much of one, in fact, that he has been renting part of a vineyeard to create his own label, “24 by Charles Woodson.” Woodson apparently began drinking wine on trips to Napa Valley when he was with the Oakland Raiders. In the seven years since then, he has taught himself about the finer points of making and drinking wine, according to this interesting article in the Detroit Free Press. The article says the label officially launches on September 1.
The story doesn’t say which Wisconsin restaurants will serve Woodson wines, but Chuck Wood is pictured on his website — www.charleswoodsonwines.com — with the owners of the Bartolotta restaurants in Milwaukee. For Packergeeks readers outside Wisconsin, Bartolotta’s owns several (four?) upscale restaurants in and around Milwaukee. I’ve eaten at just one — Lake Park Bistro — and the dinner was as good a meal as I’ve ever had. Phenomenal.
Although you would think Woodson would be able to capitalize on his celebrity to promote the wine, you’d be mistaken. Apparently after a recent interview in which he talked about his love of wine — maybe this one? — the NFL slapped the muzzle on Woodson. The NFL believes that having its athletes saying good things about products containing alcohol might lead young kids to drink. I understand the concern but it strikes me as rather silly for the NFL to be concerned about Charles Woodson’s wine label when you’ve Kevin Faulk caught with pot, Matt Jones (allegedly) cutting up coke with credit cards, Johnny Jolly (allegedly) sitting on a bunch of codeine, and NFL players in DUI scrapes seemingly every week.
BTW, the interview in which Woodson talked about his wine is worth a read. Jason Wilde conducted it.