The NBA’s wine obsession, with Baxter Holmes of ESPN

Sportswriters don’t generally win a James Beard culinary award. It’s like Lionel Messi winning an Oscar.

But that’s exactly what my next guest on the Drinks Adventures podcast, Baxter Holmes, has done. In fact, he’s the only sportswriter, thus far, to have achieved this singular honour, for his article about the humble peanut butter & jelly sandwich and its unlikely rise to pre-match secret weapon for the NBA.

Baxter is the senior national NBA writer for ESPN, focusing on features, projects and anything else of interest in the world of basketball.

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Recently, he has found himself becoming increasingly fascinated with what the players do away from the court.

In the process, he unearthed a fantastic story about the NBA’s growing obsession with wine.

Players, it seems, have moved beyond the usual trappings of wealth – houses, cars, bling etcetera – and are instead turning their attention (and sizeable incomes) to a more unusual pursuit. Wine.

ESPN senior national NBA writer, Baxter Holmes
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes

Surprisingly, this is not merely a story of bragging rights over who can buy the most expensive bottle.

These NBA stars, including LeBron James, have developed a genuine interest in wine. They want to know about it and be able to speak knowledgeably about it. Some have even taken a giant leap and purchased their own vineyards.

So, join me on Drinks Adventures as Baxter reveals how he embarked on his investigation into the NBA’s burgeoning wine obsession.

More:
Maynard James Keenan, winemaker and musician: S8E4
Chinese Wine 101, with Emilie Steckenborn: S7E7
Andrew Caillard MW on ultra-fine Australian wine: S7E4

Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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