You’re a retired NFL quarterback. So now what do you do?
If you’re Dan Marino and Damon Huard, you team up – not on the playing field – but in the winery. Last week the two former quarterbacks unveiled their own cabernet sauvignon called Passing Time during a private party. It’s a blend of 86 percent cabernet sauvignon, 9 percent merlot, and 5 percent cab franc.
Huard told The Seattle Timesthat he knows their biggest challenge is going to be for people to take them seriously. “We’re not just two quarterbacks doing this because we can,” he said. “We’re doing it right in the vineyard, and we’re doing it right in the cellar.”
It is true that this endeavor isn’t some sort of random afterthought for the former NFL stars. They met in 1997 when Huard joined the Miami Dolphins and Marino schooled him on what a “good” drink should be and how to appreciate fine wine. After a while, they promised they would eventually start a winery together. Now, they’ve partnered with some major players in the business world and they are “sparing no expense to make Washington’s next great cabernet,” said Huard. They are also working with a well-respected local winemaker, Chris Peterson, who is partnered with Marty Taucher at Avennia.
Peterson told The Seattle Times that he doesn’t work with just anyone and that he saw true potential in what the football players were doing. “Sometimes, people come with unrealistic expectations like that. Do I want to work with Dan Marino and Damon Huard? Heck yeah, I do. But the project had to be enticing. This has been challenging and interesting.”
Passing Time is still maturing in new French oak barrels and 500 cases will be released in 2015 at about $75 per bottle. When it is ready for the masses, it will have been aged 21 months.