Anyone who lives within the friendly confines of Los Angeles is familiar with Dodger Blue. But it’s time to make room for a little Dodger red and Dodger white. March 1 marks the debut of two special edition wines from winemaker — and die-hard Dodger fan — Bob Lindquist of Qupé Winery in Santa Maria.
Lindquist moved with his family to Southern California as a boy in 1964, just in time for him to witness the Dodgers’ epic 1965 World Series run. That’s where the seed of his Dodger fandom was planted. In wine circles, Lindquist’s Dodger fanaticism practically defines him, almost as much as his ethereal, cool climate Syrah and other Rhône varietal wines.
Until recently, Lindquist shared season tickets with another wine industry veteran, managing to sneak away from the winery as often as he could to attend games. Every year he hires buses to transport wine club members down to the stadium for Qupé’s own Dodger Day. And for the better part of a decade, Qupé wines have been poured in the Stadium Club.
This year, however, Lindquist has taken it one step further: He’s collaborated with a branding agency called Wine by Design to create custom team blends. Both labels are a brilliant Dodger blue, with the team name emblazoned in a cursive silver logo above Qupé’s signature California poppy.
Lindquist has made a red and a white — a 2013 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay with a dollop of Roussanne drawn largely from cool sandy slopes at Bien Nacido Vineyard, and a Syrah, also from Bien Nacido, blended with a bit of Grenache and Tempranillo. Both have a Santa Barbara County appellation; he wanted both wines to represent the south Central Coast, in large part because they’re so close to Los Angeles, and are Qupé’s home turf.
As for the flavors? “Let’s just say they were lovingly constructed with the Dodgers in mind,” says Lindquist — by which he means wines that are vibrant, forward and refreshing, meant to be enjoyed on a sunny game day. “They’re the kind of wines I like to make, and to drink,” he says.
The Qupé Dodger label series wine are available at Dodger Stadium, of course, but will also be sold at the Wine House and local supermarkets Vons and Gelson’s.