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Vikings get a taste for fine wine

What do you need to build a great NFL team? A franchise quarterback? Top-drawer receivers? The phone number of Tom Brady’s ball deflator?

According to the Wall Street Journal several players on the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive squad claim the answer is: red wine.

“Red wine is the key,” joked 37 year old Viking cornerback Terence Newman (pictured) in September, when asked about the secret to his long career. “Get it in your veins, baby. Keeps you strong.”

He may have been joking, but his advice appears to have caught on with his teammates.

“Newman is a veteran,” said teammate Robert Blanton. “He’s been in the league so long and young guys are sitting there saying: ‘He’s been in the league this long because of the red wine’. Now everyone’s drinking it.”

Another teammate, Captain Munnerlyn, was a new convert to wine and said that: “every defensive back has bought a bottle.”

Indeed, several players have set up a group text to send photos of the latest bottles they’ve bought.

Newman now spends his Mondays with teammate Harrison Smith, watching Monday Night Football and enjoying Meiomi’s Pinot Noir. “It’s like a ritual now” said Newman.

Newman isn’t the first sportsman to praise the effects of red wine.

Charles Woodson, 39, another ageing NFL player (with the Oakland Raiders) extols the virtues of red wine and has his own wine label, which puts him in the same league as many current and former sportsmen and women from Lionel Messi to Wayne Gretsky, with their own wine labels.

Likewise, the Philadelphia Eagles launched a limited edition Napa Cabernet back in 2013.

In October 2014 meanwhile, Amar’e Stoudemire, a basketball player with the New York Knicks, Instagrammed a photo of himself bathing in red wine as a part of a recovery programme.

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