From Football to Fine Wine – Super Bowl Champion Will Blackmon’s Journey to Becoming a Wine Connoisseur
Will Blackmon has combined the world of taste and touchdowns, where elegance is in the end zone and luxury intertwines with the love of the vine. ICONIC LIFE Publisher Renee Dee sat down with Will Blackmon, former football star turned wine connoisseur. Their conversation gives us a glimpse into his passion for the game, his transition into the world of wine and how he’s now sharing that passion with the world through his Wine MVP concierge club.
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In the world of sports, Will Blackmon achieved greatness on the football field, capturing the coveted title of Super Bowl Champion and boasting a stellar 12-year NFL career. But now, Blackmon is rewriting the playbook, delving into the realm of fine wine with the same passion and determination that led him to on-the-field success. His journey into the world of wine and education has granted him access to some of the most extraordinary offerings the vineyards have to offer.
To take it back, Blackmon’s infatuation with wine began as a mere enjoyment during his days on the gridiron. But it wasn’t just the wine itself that captivated him; it was the culture, the history and the geography that goes into crafting the perfect vintage. While traveling with his team during away games, he found delight in exploring wine regions and discovering new flavors with his teammates, realizing they could bond over more than just touchdowns and tackles.
But it wasn’t until he stumbled upon the documentary “SOMM” by Christina and Jason Wise, that Will Blackmon’s fascination turned into a full-blown obsession. “I remember I was trying to study on my own, trying to learn all these things and nuances when it came to wine,” Blackmon remembers. “And it wasn’t until, I mean, I read a couple of magazines, but I saw that documentary and I was like, ‘what is that? What are they doing? How are they able to evaluate and understand and know these wines just on top of the head?’”
Will Blackmon realized that wine appreciation was not just an art but a skill honed through education. Driven by his desire to immerse himself in the world of wine, he enrolled in the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program, embarking on an eight-week journey to deepen his knowledge. And it didn’t stop there – he went on to pursue further education at Sonoma State’s wine business program, determined to become a true wine geek.
Now, you might be wondering if he’s a certified sommelier, and the answer is, not quite yet. Blackmon has completed the introductory levels and earned merits in his pursuit of excellence. But, as he confesses, he’s not one to settle for anything less than the best. Like a true MVP, Blackmon knows a thing or two about being a champion, he aims to conquer the wine world with Will Blackmon’s wine, The Wine MVP, climbing the ranks through the WSET certification levels until he reaches the pinnacle.
So, how does one go from tackling giants to crafting fine wines? Will Blackmon attributes his success in both fields, pun intended, to two fundamental principles: having fun and embracing challenges. Just as he approached his football career, he dove headfirst into the wine business, determined to share his passion with the world. The result? Will Blackmon’s wine business called The Wine MVP concierge club – a playground for oenophiles seeking exclusive experiences, private tastings, dinners and beachside gatherings.
Will Blackmon’s wine goal is simple: to curate a collection of exquisite wines and deliver them to the doorsteps of discerning enthusiasts. With his keen eye for quality, he selects wines that epitomize elegance, richness and opulence, mirroring the lifestyle of his upscale audience. So, even if you can’t join him for a glass in person, you can savor the excellence he embodies through his curated selections.
“I wanted to find a way to share my passion for wine.” Blackmon said. “And I thought the simplest thing to do was to make a wine. And I didn't want to be simple; I wanted to give myself a headache and drive myself nuts. So I was like, you know what, how can I take all of my resources that I have collected, you know, in the wine industry, my big network and how can I find a way to share these experiences with friends or whoever wants to be part of it.”
And when it comes to wine regions, Will Blackmon has left no stone unturned. From the celebrated vineyards of Napa and Willamette to the charming landscapes of Healdsburg, he has reveled in the artistry of winemaking and the welcoming spirit of the wine community. His camaraderie with renowned winemaker Jesse Katz at Aperture speaks to the bonds formed within the wine world, where egos fade and collaboration prevails. Who would have thought that Temecula, often shadowed by larger wine regions, would capture his heart? Yet, his curiosity led him to uncover the hidden treasures of the area, discovering a passion for Italian varietals that thrive in the region’s unique terroir.
From the highs of the football field to the depths of the vineyard, Will Blackmon has proven that greatness knows no boundaries. With Will Blackmon’s wine brand, Wine MVP Club as our guide, we’re set to uncork the secrets of fine wine, elegance, and the joy of camaraderie among passionate oenophiles. So, let’s raise a glass and toast to the extraordinary journey ahead – a journey filled with touchdowns and terroir, led by none other than Will Blackmon, the true MVP of both the football field and the vineyard.