August 18, 2011
Steve Spurrier has worn many hats at South Carolina: Sportsman, fitness buff, social critic, art connoisseur, master thespian. Now, the Gamecocks' resident Renaissance Man is playing a new role: Oenophile.
In honor of last year's SEC East championship, Spurrier's wine label, Spurrier Vineyards, has released its first new variety since 2007, "Gamecock Garnet," a commemorative red that combines a voluptuous bouquet of vivid, oaky textures with a mature, foxy minerality and a nervy, autolytic finish that suggests the slightest hint of cedarwood.
That's what I'm guessing, anyway: Like most fine wine writers, I just strung together a bunch of random words I grabbed off Wikipedia. But if you're in South Carolina and want to taste Gamecock Garnet for yourself, it will run you about $15 at one of 50 retail locations throughout the state.
Yes, the Ball Coach is really more of a Coors man himself, but the label also allows him to wear another hat: Philanthropist. Proceeds from sales will benefit the Steve Spurrier Foundation and the South Carolina golf program, which automatically makes Gamecock Garnet a more conscientious buy than the offerings by former Alabama great Ken Stabler and former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer. Although, frankly, I sincerely doubt it's anywhere near as much fun.