BELLEVUE, Wash. — A former Seahawk is bringing fans new reason to cheer — or, more specifically, to say, "Cheers."
Sidney Rice launched new luxury wine brand Dossier with business partner Tim Lenihan.
Rice spent seven seasons as a wide receiver in the NFL, three of them with the Seattle Seahawks. He was a member of the 2014 Super Bowl Championship team.
After retiring from football, he went into business. During the pandemic, he discovered a new passion: wine.
"I fell in love with wine from a big, bold cab and now I'm all across the board," Rice said.
That's where Lenihan came in. A friend and real estate broker/developer originally from the Yakima Valley, he sent Rice some Washington wines to taste. They bonded over their shared interest and in 2021, decided to create their own brand.
"The moment I think for both of us was when the first bottle came down the bottling line,” Lenihan said. “Now we could see what this could be."
Dossier Wine is made using Washington-grown grapes and the winemaking team is lead by Billo Naravane MW, owner and winemaker of Rasa Vineyards.
Rice isn't just lending his name to the labels. He's a working member of the team, and both he and Lenihan personally helped compose the flavors in every bottle.
“When I first got into wine, I didn't know anything about it. And the more I've learned, I know absolutely nothing about it,” Rice said, laughing.
Even a novice can appreciate their three inaugural wines: a syrah, made with grapes grown in an old Eastern Washington riverbed; a crisp sauvignon blanc; and a rosé meant for all seasons.
"'Rosé all day,' summertime. But ours is rosé all year round. It has substance,” Rice said.
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More varietals will be released in December, and a tasting room in Walla Walla is planned for 2023.
"The sky's the limit at this point,” Lenihan said.
The partners hope to show Washington wines can be both high end and highly drinkable, giving people one more reason to toast the place they call home.
Dossier bottles are available online at area restaurants like The Lakehouse in Bellevue.