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NFL Star Launches KJ1 Wine!

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Keyshawn Johnson, NFL sports legend has turned winemaker now with his KJ1 super premium wine. The first offering of this brand is the 2007 KJ1, which is by Keyshawn Johnson Cabernet Sauvignon from the northeast Oregon vineyards. Keyshawn sums up his passion for his new business venture in the following words, “I’ve enjoyed wine for years and for me, Cabernet is king.” So there!



The New Venture


KJ, as he is popularly known, was already an entrepreneur before this and for his wine venture, he has joined hands with the Los Angeles wine business house, Johnson & Mills, LLC. Johnson was the star player at USC during 1994-95 after which he was picked up to play in the 1996 NFL Draft. He describes the wine venture as follows, “Our first pick was this wine from Eastern Oregon.” The wine, however, is not his first business venture. KJ has already pursued interests in the field of food service, hotels, and real estate.



Drink it up!


The manufacturers are going to produce the wine in 112 cases of six bottles each. The suggested retail price per bottle will be $125. However, the company will not start distributing its wine before September 15, 2012. We are sure that KJ's fans would not mind shelling out that much for a bottle of wine from their favorite NFL star.



The Expert Viewpoint


Going by the expert point of view, in this case, master sommelier Virginia Philips, KJ1 is full of all the good qualities of a good wine. Philips writes about KJ1, “To the eye, the wine has a purple core with electric pink highlights on the rim. The nose is powerful, with much black pepper and overtones of ripe black cherry and rich berry aromas. There are notes of tobacco, vanilla and clove mingling with damp earth. Unctuous and full-bodied on the palate, there are chewy tannins leading to a lingering finish.” And in case you are wondering how to serve this Cabernet wine properly, Philips suggests, “The wine tastes well on its own; pairing suggestions include Steak au Poivre, Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops or BBQ-rubbed meats.”



Partners Speak


KJ’s partners, R.C. Mills, who have been in the wine business since 1996, are all praise for the new venture. The company, with whom KJ’s partnership is based in Century City, California, said, “We’re seeing a real trend in the sports and entertainment industries taking an interest in not just wine as a beverage but the whole business – from growing the grapes to making their own wine. We’ve always enjoyed wine and this is our opportunity to produce a world-class product that reflects our commitment to excellence.”


Before KJ, other NFL players, who have put their hands into the wine business include Joe Montana, Charles Woodson, and Dan Marino. Here’s wishing KJ all the luck in his new venture. In case you want to lay your hands on a bottle of KJ1, be sure to check out your local wine store after mid-September.


Image Courtesy: deadspin, losthatsportsblog

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NFL Star Launches KJ1 Wine!