EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Cheers, Jets fans! You can toast your team in a new way this season.
The team announced Wednesday it has started taking advance orders for its new, limited release commemorative wine, called Jets Uncorked. The 2008 cabernet sauvignon was created to help the team celebrate the opening of the New Meadowlands Stadium.
"We didn't want to simply slap our logo on a wine," said Matt Higgins, the team's executive vice president for business operations. "We wanted to make one from scratch."
Higgins said the Jets went to Napa Valley in California and scouted eight wineries before selecting veteran winemaker Marco DiGiulio and lifestyle marketing agency, Wine By Design.
The wine was made solely for the Jets, and will be available for $27.99 on the team's website. DiGiulio said about 8,000 cases were made, and several Manhattan restaurants, such as Nobu, will also carry it.
"We wanted a 100 percent cabernet, that seemed appropriate for football," Higgins said. "And we wanted it to be so good even a Pats fan would drink it after tearing off the label."
The label itself is black and understated with Jets Uncorked in white and gray block letters, above a drawing of an actual play run by the Jets in a game.
"We're not saying what the play is," Higgins said. "We'll leave it to our fans to figure it out."
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said teams are allowed to work with a wine manufacturer to produce limited edition promotional packaging to commemorate significant events – in this case the opening of a stadium.
McCarthy added that there have been similar ventures by teams in the past, including the San Francisco 49ers. The league also had Gallo Wines as a sponsor for several years, and it produced limited edition commemorative bottles with the Super Bowl logo.
Higgins said the Jets do several surveys about their fans' likes and dislikes, and found that many of them are wine drinkers.
"It's rich, it's ripe, but it has a classic character," DiGiulio said. "It's not overdone and goes well with a lot of different foods."