Who: Drew Bledsoe, former NFL quarterback, owner of Doubleback Winery in Walla Walla, Washington with his wife, Maura. After retiring from the NFL in 2007, Bledsoe returned home to Walla Walla, where he and Maura joined forces with his childhood friend, winemaker Chris Figgins. As ambassadors of Washington State wine, the two were in town to introduce the 2009 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon.
Where: Gramercy Tavern, New York City.
Favorite Pairing of the Night: Marinated scallops with grapes and verjus, paired with Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris 2009 from Central Otago, New Zealand. “The acidity and spiciness of the Pinot Gris was perfect with the slightly sweet scallops,” says Bledsoe, adding, “I am really a red wine guy—that’s why we grow Cabernet—but that was right on.”
Most interesting person Bledsoe has shared a glass of wine with: “It would have to be Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub. We've been fortunate enough to spend some time with Jerry on a few occasions, and it's always captivating. One cool evening was the Fourth of July a few years ago. We cracked a few bottles that night. The most memorable for me was a 2001 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. I seem to recall trying to cure Jerry of his affection for Napa Cabs by pouring him a glass or two of Leonetti Reserve. Listening to Jerry's stories was amazing. He's had quite a ride from Brooklyn to managing Elvis and Sinatra, to making movies like Oceans 11, 12, and 13.”
His holiday plans include: “Christmas at our cabin in Whitefish, Montana. We are hoping it starts snowing soon so we can do some skiing up there. We really enjoy our time up there. There's nobody around but us so we have some really great family time.”
Follow Mike and Jeff's nights out on Twitter at #nomaj!