The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2017

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38  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2017 1 JAB Clear, legible label, solid branding. Pow, right in the kisser. 2 JABS Eye-catching label and memorable branding. This one's got a one-two punch. 3 JABS Creatively inspiring in both packaging and branding. I'm seeing stars and parakeets. 4 JABS A near work of art and meaningful branding. Might not last another round. 5 JABS A masterpiece in packaging and new benchmark in branding. An instant knock-out! July's Drinkers by Jessie Birschbach Our Wine Editor, Jessie Birschbach, Certified Sommelier—or JABS, as we call her in the office—uses her experience as a sommelier and her background in marketing to rate retail wines on both the inside and the outside of the bottle. After all, in off-premise environments it's usually the packaging that hooks us, then it's up to the wine to keep us on the hook. For this reason, we are nixing the traditional rating system and simply employing the "JABS" rating system to assess packaging and brand identity. As for the inside of the bottle, you can be sure that these wines have met the reasonably high yet unpretentious standard of being simply delicious and drinkable. PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG For info on submitting samples, email jabs@ T hese are wines selected for when it's too hot to drink anything else and you want to look good by the pool drinking them. Pro tip: Don't forget to wear a mermaid swim fin. DOWN THE AISLE DOWN THE AISLE Mariposa 2016 Rosé, Central Coast ($20) Although pink is not really my color, I do like a good butterfly—if this even is a butterfly? Maybe this label is actually a Rorschach test, in which case I'm more ladylike than I thought. Speaking of ladies, this packaging is clearly vying for their atten- tion. I know a lot of women who like both pink and butterflies. I know some who don't, but they're the type to prefer a red wine generally. The latter would be missing out, though, as this is a fairly substantial rosé. Not sure of the blend here, but as it's from the Central Coast, I'm going to guess that Grenache dominates—especially since it's those raspberry and strawberry notes that register the loudest. CRU WINERY Senda Verde 2015 Treixadura, DO Ribeiro, Spain ($12) A handsome, dream-like, topographical label appropriately representing Green Spain—it even goes so far as to call out the 43rd degree northern parallel. Citrusy, melony and just slightly minty, there's a bit of meat to the bones of this 100% Treixadura grown on the banks of the Miño River. Although the label claims 11.5% ABV, it packs a bit of punch. WINESELLERS, LTD. Elios 2015 Mediterranean White, Peloponnese, Greece ($13) I've not been to Greece, but I'd guess that the tiles on many floors look something like the colorful pattern on this label. Or maybe it's from some sort of backsplash. (Do Peloponnesians care about backsplashes? For all I know, it's where the backsplash originated.) At any rate, the label will at least catch your eye and go incredibly well with some sort of light fish prepared with olive oil and lemon. This is an easy to drink, white-flowered, light, citrus-dominated Moscofilero blend that also includes Chardonnay, Roditis and Saviatiano. TERLATO WINES Arona 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand ($12.99) The small square label looks a bit like a subdued Wassily Kandinsky painting, albeit less colorful. Interestingly however, Arona is a girl's name that means "colorful" in Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) and is supposed to represent the complexity in this wine. This isn't far from the mark, as this Sauvignon Blanc has more fruit (stone fruit in particular) and body than expected—which makes sense after discover- ing that the blend contains 13% Riesling. The minerality is substantial enough to balance the sweet white peach. Arona is Certified Sustainable in the New Zealand winegrowing program. INTERNATIONAL VINES Australian Brewery New World Pilsner ($13.99–16.99/ sixpack) The wrap on the can looks like an old pirate map in greyscale, and if you saw the tattoos on my arm, you'd understand why I'm into it. The perceived bitterness in this "New World" pils is a bit higher than a typical American pilsner, but, hey, Australia is also the New World, so they can do what they like. The pale Australian malt used here rounds out the 36 IBUs nicely. A crisp, slightly spicy, solid craft beer. MORANDELL IMPORTS

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