During the launch of his new wine label, former NBA star Charles Barkley somehow found a way to poke fun at longstanding rival Shaquille O’Neal. The two basketballers and entrepreneurs have been on-court and on-set competitors for many years, but it’s always in good fun.
At the San Francisco launch event Barkley explained his thought process when it came to collaborating on a wine. “When we first started talking about it, I said ‘I don’t want to put my name on something just to make money.’ That would make me Shaq,’” he reportedly joked of his friend who has his name on everything from shoes to eye glasses to a collaboration with Burger King.
Barkley’s label will feature a red blend, a chardonnay, and a reserve red blend. Although the retired athlete is new to the world of wine, his partnership with winemaker Chris Cameron and wine industry veteran Donald Kowalski inspires major confidence in the quality and flavor of his wines. Barkley says that during the experience he sampled more wine than he had previously had in his whole life.
“We spent the last year tasting wine,” he said at the launch event. “[Kowalski’s] like, ‘It’s almost there.’ I’m like, ‘This tastes pretty good.’ He’s like, ‘Oh no, we got to keep going.’ And we tried more wine in the last year than I’ve had in my whole 54 years of existence.”
Each bottle will be labeled “A Charles Barkley Selection,” and all proceeds from the purchases will go to charity. Barkley is hardly the first celebrity to come out with a wine label, though — these 7 celebrity chefs already have their own wines.