Kobe “Vino” Bryant x Italian Wine Pairings
Kobe Bryant x Vino
Ruthless. Cold-blooded. Assassin. These are the words that were synonymous with five-time champion Kobe Bryant for the better part of his two-decade tenure in the NBA. For most of the 2016 season (and a couple seasons prior) we saw a different, more passive Kobe Bryant and assumed that his alter ego, the proverbial Black Mamba, had slithered back into its hole for eternal slumber. The once killer snake was now replaced by an “ambassador of the league,” going from arena to arena where standing ovations and cheesy tribute videos substituted the Mamba’s life force of jeering and boos.
Although the retirement tour was well deserved, it wasn’t representative of the Kobe Bryant many of us twenty-somethings grew up watching. His patented fadeaway, signature snarl, and unbreakable will seemed to be relics of a time long since past. However, on April 13th 2016, the Black Mamba peeked his head out once more. Rising to a resounding crescendo by the tune of 60 relentless points, Kobe added a much-needed exclamation point to what had become a three-year run-on sentence of dismay. He delivered an instant classic.
Although the younger Kobe Bryant was one in the same as his alter ego, the Black Mamba, this older and more seasoned Kobe embodies his newer and more affectionate nickname, Vino. Like a fine wine, Kobe gets better with age.
Whether as the Black Mamba or Vino, we want to honor the great Kobe Bryant by featuring two wines we feel embody his alter-egos. Since Kobe spent his childhood in Rome and speaks fluent Italian, the wines we have chosen are from where his love for basketball began at the age of two.
We selected wines from two regions that best capture Kobe’s multifaceted personality:
The Black Mamba
Sicily produces robust, gutsy reds that take no prisoners. Our choice: Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico Dorilli 2013 – Planeta
Tuscany is Italy’s most popular wine region, producing lots of showy crowd-pleasers. Our choice: Brunello di Montalcino 2010 Biondi Santi – Tenuta Il Greppo
Enjoy each of these while watching some vintage Black Mamba moments. Cheers and thank you Kobe.