The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 63 of 136

november 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  63 T he return of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks also means the return of the San Francisco Competitions Double Gold Tour. In its ninth year, the Tour showcases a selection of Double Gold–awarded wines and spirits from the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition and the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, two of the most reputable competitions in the U.S. Winning a Double Gold medal is no easy feat. During the competition, judging panels blind-taste through flights of wines and spirits, deciding whether the contents of each glass are a true representation of its given varietal or spirit. Presented only with information on vintage, variety and alcohol percentage, all judges on the panel must unani- mously award the product a Gold Medal in order for it to win a Double Gold medal. With notable industry luminaries like Tony Abu-Ganim, Dave Wondrich, Fred Dame and Heidi Peterson Barrett as judges, it's no surprise that the Double Gold medal from the San Francisco Competitions brings great prestige. With a record breaking 4,903 wines and 1,591 spirits entered, the stakes were higher in 2015 and the exclusive Double Gold win sweeter. Sponsored by THE TASTING PANEL, the 11-city tour celebrates the best of the best and offers brands an added opportunity to promote their distinguished Double Gold medal to trade and press across the country. For attending wine and spirits professionals, the Tour provides a chance to taste the Competitions' top winners and to discover the next trending tastes, styles and varietals the industry will be seeing in 2016. Join us now as we visit with a few of these Double Gold- winning brands on tour! In attendance at the San Francisco stop was Ted Carmon, Category Manager—Spirits from Bevmo! "The San Francisco Competitions Double Gold Tour is a great tasting to discover (and sometimes rediscover) fresh and exciting products," comments Carmon. "For me, Nohrlund Strawberry Rhubarb Vodka Cocktail was the most interesting product in the lineup of featured spirits. It is a unique, ultra-premium RTD, the perfect oxymoron! The Strawberry Rhubarb flavor was spot on, making for a great product." One of the brands making waves at our San Francisco stop was 5 Bridges Vineyard with their 2006 Red Blend. Located in Alameda County, within the San Francisco Bay AVA, the 5 Bridges vineyard offers glimpses of all five bridges in the Bay area. "Our goal has always been to produce wines that are as unique as the city we rep- resent," quips owner Kelly Luttrell. "The Double Gold win is validation that we're making good wine," adds Luttrell. Having previously won a Double Gold from the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition for their 2005 Red Blend, we think their track record speaks for itself. PHOTO: CHLOE TURAN PHOTO: CHLOE TURAN

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