Chase Center's wine program offers a full-court press of wine country and international options.
The sleek Courtside Lounge offers an impressive lineup of California wines.
It took three women and 700 bottles of wine to create what is now arguably one of the most extensive wine programs for any sports venue in the country.
In addition to being home to the Golden State Warriors, Chase Center is also home to more than 100 highly curated wines, reflecting its proximity to the wine country and the refined palates of Nicole Lacob; Brooke Lieberwitz, beverage director for Bon Appetit at Chase Center; and Debbie Zachareas, renowned Bay Area wine expert; as well as the expertise of master sommelier Peter Granoff. The result is an arena experience unlike any other for sports and entertainment.
“Our goal was to set Chase Center apart,” says Lacob, who serves as the president of Warriors Community Foundation Board, is married to Golden State Warriors CEO and Co-Executive Chairman Joe Lacob, and is a wine aficionado. “We’ve traveled to so many arenas. As a wine drinker, I’m often disappointed with the options served. In one arena, I asked what they had for wine. The answer was white or red. It often seemed that wine and cocktails were an afterthought. We think they’re an essential part of the Chase Center experience.”
The road to creating Chase Center’s wine program was paved with a lot of uncorked bottles. Lacob, Lieberwitz and Zachareas sampled more than 700 bottles of wine and sparkling wine to come up with the arena’s diverse program. “We blind-tasted everything. At one point I had to send Joe to In-N-Out Burger,” jokes Lacob. “We needed an intermission.”
“We knew we were tasting for a diverse set of tastes and preferences, and specifically Bay Area natives, so we wanted to make sure that was taken into consideration,” adds Lieberwitz. “At Bon Appetit, we strive to include local, small and artisanal products. Chase Center gave us the leeway to create a fantastic local wine program for all spaces including our large general concourses. I wanted to make sure there was extraordinary-tasting wine at approachable price points for all at the arena.”
“They offer some of the best wines and personalities in the world,” says Lacob about showcasing Napa and Sonoma wines. “Their proximity allows us to have great partnerships and the ability to have them visit and share their knowledge and wines with us.”
Splash Wine Bar opened at Chase Center this season.
Among their main partners are Moët & Chandon and Silver Oak—the latter leading to a collaboration that resulted in the creation of the highly popular custom Warriors-branded wine bottles. Also included in the wine program are some of the most sought-after and highly allocated wines in the country and from around the world. Some notable wines in the program include 2017 Pisoni Estate, Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir; 2012 Promontory, Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon; 2015 Screaming Eagle cabernet sauvignon; 2012 Colgin Cellars cabernet sauvignon; 2013 Gaja Brunello; 2016 The Mascot cabernet sauvignon; 2015 Thomas Morey Puligny-Montrachet; and 2018 Turley zinfandel. And new for this season, Chase Center opened the Splash Wine Bar, a dedicated wine bar that makes some of the arena’s most premium wine selections generally available for the first time.
Silver Oak created Warriors-branded wine bottles for the venue.
Wondering how these wines pair with sports arena food? Lieberwitz says patrons might be surprised. “We have a wide variety of varietals and styles of wines in all our spaces to pair with our arena offerings,” she says. “For example, Bakesale Betty’s notable fried chicken sandwich goes wonderfully with our Twomey sauvignon blanc. We also have big, bold cabernets that pair excellently with the San Francisco local favorite Hot Dog Bills’ burgerdogs. The terroir and big body in our concessions cabernet hold up extremely well to the carefully crafted burgerdog, along with its signature red pickle relish.”
The salmon flatbread at Splash Wine Bar
“I’m proud that we really thought through every wine and cocktail we offer,” says Lacob. “Fans are not only getting a world-class performance on the floor but also getting one in every sip. In other words, they get more choices than just red or white.”
Photography by: FROM TOP: PHOTO BY JASON O’REAR; PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHASE CENTER