Born and raised on Chicago’s West Side, Isiah Lord Thomas III’s professional career spans more than three decades in sports, business, and entertainment. Thomas has garnered worldwide attention for his contributions in all levels of professional basketball, including induction into the NBA Hall of Fame, and for his distinctive business start-ups and philanthropic endeavors.
As a player, Isiah built a reputation as a tireless worker and formidable competitor. As a businessman, his leadership and sharp business sense continue to serve him well in his postplaying days.
While continuing to explore his business interest, Isiah was introduced to Thomas Cheurlin, owner of Cheurlin Champagne, who is now at the helm of his family’s spirts dynasty. Attracted to the Cheurlin family’s hands-on tradition, coupled with their commitment to providing a healthy, great tasting champagne without the added sugar, Isiah became captivated by this opportunity, and a partnership was born. Isiah is quick to point out that although it took years, he “wanted a product that was both reasonably priced, and accessible to all consumers.” While Cheurlin Champagne is new to the United States, it can now be enjoyed in Illinois, Michigan, New York, California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania and additionally in restaurants and hotels around the country. It has established itself as the toast of the champagne world since 1788. From its vineyard in CellesSur-Ource, Cheurlin has leveraged the optimal climate and fertile grounds of historic Champagne, France to produce award-winning champagne that generations have enjoyed. Cheurlin’s prominence in the champagne industry is well reflected in its scroll of prestigious recognitions.
Unlike celebratory champagnes that are limited to special occasions, Cheurlin champagnes are acclaimed for their versatility, which make them ideal for food pairing. Cheurlin uses three main grape varietals (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc) to produce three distinctly elegant, vibrant and enjoyable champagnes: Cheurlin’s Blanc de Blanc champagne, which is made using Chardonnay grapes, pairs wonderfully with seafood and most vegetables; Cheurlin’s Blanc de Noire champagne is made entirely from red Pinot Noir grapes and makes for a full-flavored experience that deliciously pairs with meats and cheeses; and, Cheurlin’s Rosé champagne is made from a blend of all three grapes and is a versatile compliment to any meal.
Thomas’ business savvy and celebrity profile, coupled with Cheurlin’s deep and respected roots in the champagne industry make for an ideal pairing that will allow him to create innovative opportunities of bringing Cheurlin Champagne into various markets across the states and all over the world, making it the “go to” champagne for generations to come. Thomas received his Master’s of Education from the University of California at Berkeley. He has two children and currently lives in New York with his college sweetheart, and wife of 33 years, Lynn Kendall.