Ex-slugger Oritz has wine lineup, will headline NY festival

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2016, file photo, Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, right, watches his solo home run in front of Arizona Diamondbacks' Tuffy Gosewisch during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Boston. It seems like everybody wants their chance to say goodbye to Boston’s beloved Big Papi. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has gone from swinging bats to selling vats … of wine.

The retired ballplayer known as Big Papi launched a new line of cigars and wines earlier this year. On Sept. 8, he’ll be the special guest at the annual Saratoga Wine and Food Festival held at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Arias, Ortiz’s wine portfolio, is named after his mother, Angela Rosa Arias, who died in a car crash in 2002. His wine lineup includes a merlot, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc.

The wines have Saratoga-area connections. Peter Ianniello, who grew up in nearby Mechanicville, produces the wines at his Mount Felix Vineyard and Winery in Havre de Grace, Maryland, while Mechanicville-based DeCrescente Distributing Co. is the wholesaler.