Courtesy of Annika Sorenstam
LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam has managed to transform her image from that of a dedicated, disciplined and focused competitor to that of a fun-loving mother of two who loves to eat and drink.
Her post-golf businesses are many -- high-performance, high-style women’s golf clothes for Cutter & Buck; golf course design; a charitable foundation; her golf academy. She also has bottled award-winning wines with Wente Vineyards -- see GottaGoGolf’s tasting panel’s raves about their favorite Annika wine -- and last year published a cookbook in Sweden.
Sorenstam checked in recently from home base in Orlando, Fla., to talk about her new favorite golf hole, the 19th, and share a recipe that probably wouldn’t have a place on her training table.
GGG: First I have to tell you that in GottaGoGolf’s tasting of pro golfers’ wines last year, your 2006 Syrah beat out everything the guys were making, all put together. Are you continuing along that path with Wente Vineyards?
ANNIKA: We’re going to continue with the Syrah and the Chardonnay, and we launched the 59 Red (Livermore Valley, 2009) this year, which is a little more of a blend. A lot of people think the Syrah is a little too big -- this is still mainly Syrah (63 percent), but with Cabernet (30 percent) and a little bit of Petite Syrah and Barbera (3 percent each).
GGG: How would you describe your taste in wine, and how do you like what your fellow golf stars are bottling?
ANNIKA: I am a wine diva. I have expensive taste. I don’t drink wine just to drink wine, I want it to be tasty. I want it to be smooth -- long-lasting and smooth from start to finish. I like wines that are good by themselves. I don’t want to have to eat.
I have tried some of the other golfers’ wines. Ernie (Els) makes a good wine. His price range is way above mine, so it’s not something I would drink every day.
GGG: Have you ever had wine during a round of golf?
ANNIKA: (Emphatically) No.
GGG: You’re doing golf course design and we at GottaGoGolf feel where there’s beer there should be wine. Could any of your courses put a wine bar at the turn? Why don’t more serve wine -- they’ve all got a beer cart, how hard would it be?
ANNIKA: Yeah, I would agree. As a professional golfer, I haven’t done it. As a social golfer, I’d be all in. In Florida, maybe the golfers want something cold, but you could still have a chilled rose or Sauvignon Blanc. You’re on to something!
GGG: Here in the U.S., the post-round social hour is so ritualized, it even has that name -- 19th hole. Growing up with golf in Sweden, was that also the case there?
ANNIKA: That’s one of the beauties of golf. It’s a social game. You hang out together on the golf course, and then afterward you settle your bets and have a friendly gathering. The social aspect is very unique to golf -- in tennis, for example, you’re running and sweating and in the end the last thing you want to do is sit down and share a meal. You want a shower.