Editors' ChoiceApril 19, 2016

Best Wine

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Going from professional golfer to professional vintner sure seems like a leap. But many, including some of the all-time greats, have made the transition—or at least lent their name to some surprisingly good wines. Tough as it might sound, we sampled as many offerings from professional golfers as we could find, checked in with some wine connoisseurs to confirm our opinions, and then assembled this group of Editors' Choices based on varietals or, in the case of blends, the combination of grapes used.

Keep in mind that we didn't make a recommendation for every type of varietal, so we apologize if your favorite type of wine isn't on this list—sorry, pinot noir fans. If there wasn't a particularly good pro-golfer wine representing a certain grape or type of wine, we left it off our list. How adamant are we that we selected the best of the best? None of the wines selected scored below 90 by Wine Spectator magazine, and one scored as high as 96.

If you want to taste them for yourself, remember that the year on the bottle is as important as how it was stored (cool, dry place). However, if you can't find that particular vintage, there's a decent chance that other years bottled under the same label might be similarly pleasing. Some golfers also have their wines produced by larger wine-making companies. So if you can't get your hands on the golfer wine you want, some of their other offerings might suit your taste, too. In the case of our golf-wine recommendations, some should be fairly easy to find, but others, because they were bottled in fairly limited quantities, might be difficult to track down. The wines we selected came from some of the biggest grape-growing regions in the world.


Blended red (cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, petit verdot, malbec): Jack Nicklaus Private Reserve 2009, $55
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Blended red (cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot, malbec, cabernet franc): Ernie Els Stellenbosch 2005, $94
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Blended red (cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, merlot): Ernie Els Cape Winemakers Guild 2012, $89
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Chardonnay: Annika Chardonnay Livermore Valley 2009, $40
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Sauvignon blanc: The Goose, Upper Langkloof, 2011, $16
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Shiraz: Greg Norman Australian Estates Reserve 2009, $30
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Syrah: Greg Norman California Estates Camatta Hills Vineyard Reserve 2008, $40
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