The retired all star guard started his own wine label, Wade Cellars, in 2015

By Mackenzie Schmidt
October 11, 2019 10:15 AM

Dwyane Wade is a passionate winemaker with his own label, but he has no problem admitting his wife Gabrielle Union prefers a different bottle.

“She really likes the Wade wine — it’s our family name. But she really loves her tequila,” the former Miami Heat guard joked to PEOPLE at The Infatuation‘s Eeeeeatscon in New York, where he was promoting his brand, Wade Cellars. (Union’s tequila of choice is the George Clooney and Rande Gerber-created Casamigos.)

But there are no hard feelings between the couple, who tied the knot in 2014 and share daughter Kaavia, 11 months. “I’ll let her get that. I won’t say nothing about that because I know that’s what she enjoys,” Wade, 37, adds with a laugh. The actress 46, even had her own wine venture, having released a Chardonnay called Vanilla Puddin.

The NBA All Star, who retired this year, launched his own label alongside renowned Napa winemakers the Pahlmeyer family in 2015, after being introduced to the world of wine by fellow athletes Lebron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.  “Our group, all of us kind of started this wine journey together,” he says.

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Wade Cellars now has three varieties and will introduce it’s fourth, and first white wine, next year. “We’re looking to bottle in 2020, probably around March,” Wade confirms.

Since retiring, the family — which also includes Wade’s three sons Zion, Zaire, and Xavier, his nephew Dahveon and their five dogs — has moved full time to Los Angeles, where Union films L.A.’s Finest and Wade can be closer to the vineyard. “That’s kind of how I’ve been able to hop, skip, and jump up to Napa, spend time there and be a part of the process,” he says.

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Four years on, he’s happy to disprove those who doubted his commitment to oenology, but at the end of the day, he says, he just wants to make a worthwhile vintage: “It doesn’t matter who’s making the wine. It’s about the juice in a bottle.”

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Asked what’s more of a thrill, winning an NBA Final (which he’s done three times) or finding the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon (his favorite variety), Wade reveals, “It depends on the night.”

“Basketball is what I’ve done my whole life, right? And dreamed of winning the championship, but wine was never something in my vision. So it’s just been cool to be able to go through life and get involved in new things and they become a part of a passion. So I enjoy it differently.”

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