by Kevin Kenney \ portraits Bob Metelus
It’s a sunny spring day in Los Angeles, the kind of day on which Dwyane Wade might otherwise be on the golf course–a frequent means of relaxation for him these days, now that he’s two years removed from a legendary NBA career that will undoubtedly land the superstar in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Instead, the 39-year-old Wade is navigating the great indoors, not the back nine. It’s just before noon, and he’ll be busy for the next few hours with a full slate of media Zoom calls, all regarding different areas of his burgeoning business empire.
Wade is retired from playing ball, but “retired’’ hardly seems a fitting word for a man who–among his many current endeavors–does NBA commentary for TNT…runs his own entertainment production company…owns a line of basketball and lifestyle apparel…is partners in a South Florida 800° Woodfired Kitchen franchise…has a new memoir due out in November…is executive producing and hosting a new TBS game show called “The Cube”…and just two weeks before this whirlwind Zoom media day, became a part owner of the NBA’s Utah Jazz.
Oh, and he’s also husband to the actress Gabrielle Union–which brought him across the country from South Florida to Los Angeles–and an engaged dad to five kids, one a nephew.
Wade, of course, had various nicknames during his playing days–D-Wade, Flash, WOW, Pookie, Father Prime. Now add another one: Mr. Multi-Tasker. He brings the same tenacity to his post-basketball career that enabled him to star for the Miami Heat while winning three NBA championships.
“It’s not in the calling for me to just focus on one thing. So, Renaissance Man, here I go!’’ Wade tells Cigar and Spirits Magazine, with a laugh.
But it’s one other piece of Wade’s packed portfolio that brings him to C&S on this day–Wade Cellars. It’s a line of four Napa Valley wines that evolved from his playing days when his superstar buddies–Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Chris Paul–began sharing a love of all things vino.
Eventually, that led to Wade visiting northern California for the 2014 harvest. He struck up a friendship with famed Napa winemaker Jayson Pahlmeyer, and over time, the Wade Cellars brand emerged–first with a Wade Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon…and more recently with the company’s “Three by Wade’’ line, an homage to Wade’s old uniform number.
“Three by Wade’’ features a red, a blanc and a rosé–each of them, Wade says, expressions of his personal “journey’’ through the wine world.
As of the spring, Wade’s wines were in 20 markets nationwide, with plans to expand to 23 more on Aug. 1. The 2020 Three by Wade chenin blanc was set to be released on Aug. 1, and was expected to be featured at 370 Whole Foods locations nationwide for two months. And a 2019 cabernet sauvignon is expected to be released in early fall.
Wade discussed his journey…through his life as well as his wines…