“This is a safe wine space,” said Master of Wine Vanessa Conlin as she introduced the day’s coursework. Conlin, the Head of Wine at the wine curation site Wine Access, was speaking to the recipients of NBA player Josh Hart’s Diversity In Wine Scholarship Program. They had all gathered over Zoom for a class to prepare for the Level 1 exam of the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust).
Hart, a shooting guard for the New Orleans Pelicans, formed this scholarship with Wine Access in an effort to make the wine industry more welcoming and inclusive—particularly for members of the BIPOC community who have historically been left out. Hart is a wine lover himself (he even has an Instagram dedicated to sharing his favorite bottles), and he’s one of the more recent players to become an outspoken member of the NBA’s unofficial wine club—a club that’s still going strong, as demonstrated by the hundreds of bottles that were shipped to the league’s “bubble,” the sports complex in Orlando that safely housed teams for the 2020 season.
Other players, like Dwyane Wade, share this goal. “One of the reasons I got into the wine industry was to change the common misconception of wine as pretentious,” Wade said. “I didn’t grow up knowing what wine is. Wine was perceived in this really uppity kind of way and I wanted to be a part of showing that it’s not that—of respecting what goes into making one simple bottle of wine.” In 2014, Wade created his own wine brand, Wade Cellars, in partnership with Napa’s Pahlmeyer winery.
The parent company behind snacks like Oreo, Ritz, Sour Patch Kids and more, Mondelēz International, announced a new mulityear partnership with the National Basketball Association and USA Basketball to be the official partner of the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League, the NBA 2K League and USA Basketball.
The partnership rolls out nationwide at retailers later this month and kicks off with limited-edition NBA Dynasty Oreo cookies. For a playful spin on the sandwich cookie, each pack features six unique embossments on top of the chocolate wafers that spotlight logos of some of the greatest dynasties in NBA history: the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.
Aaron Rose: The NBA has announced a new partnership with Mondelēz, makers of OREO Cookies, Chips Ahoy!, Nutter Butter, belVita, Ritz Crackers, Trident, and Sour Patch Kids. They will make limited edition OREOs with six NBA teams on them. The Raptors were not included on the list ☹️
NBA Hall-of-Famer and Auburndale native Tracy McGrady opened his restaurant and sports bar to the public on Wednesday. The new hot spot, called HomeCourt, has been fully constructed and ready to go for months, but the opening was delayed because of risks surrounding COVID-19. “I always wanted to come back home and you know, leave a legacy, something for my community,” McGrady said at a soft opening event Tuesday.