The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2016

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july 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  51 Ecco Domani 2015 Pinot Grigio Creatively inspiring in both packaging and branding. I'm seeing stars and parakeets. When you write a review column that also evaluates packaging and a fashion icon designs the label—you pay attention. On the inside, white peach, peach pit, lime zest, lemon blossom and honeydew. On the outside, an animated, confetti-like transformation of the Ecco Domani logo. If this was on the table at a dinner party, you'd want a closer look. 89 Zac Posen launched his eponymous collection in 2001, with a vision for modern American glamour that married couture technique with striking innovation. Raised in New York, he began his design training early. At 16, he attended Parsons School of Design, followed by London's Central Saint Martins University of the Arts. Two years following his first collec- tion, Posen was awarded one of fashion's most prestigious honors, Swarovski's Perry Ellis Award for Women's Wear by the CFDA. In 2015, he was also awarded Designer of the Year by Women's Wear Daily and Variety. With his creations worn by leading women, including Uma Thurman, First Lady Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts and Rihanna, he has become a staple on the red carpet. His collections have grown to include Zac Posen, ZAC Zac Posen and Truly Zac Posen, with offerings in handbags, accessories, hosiery, eyewear, fur and fine jewelry. Zac Posen just launched his Red Carpet make up collection with longstanding partner M·A·C Cosmetics. You may know him also as a judge on Lifetime's mainstay Project Runway, now approaching its 15th season. About Zac Posen PHOTO COURTESY OF ECCO DOMANI PHOTO COURTESY OF ECCO DOMANI Meaningful partnerships aside, Posen's connective roots to food and wine go deeper still. His grandfather owned a wine store in New York, and his love for wine ignited at an early age when a pairing at Gramercy Tavern blew his mind. Today, his Instagram feed is peppered with food shots of dishes he's just prepared and hashtagged appropriately—#cookingwithzac—which will also be the name of his cookbook set to release in the fall of 2017. Says Posen, "I feel very lucky, as my personal relationship with wine was something that was part of my upbringing." I can personally attest to Posen's passion for wine. At the top of our inter- view, upon learning my experience as a sommelier, he asked me the questions. The conversation then flowed from drawing parallels between winemaking and garment construction and between grape growing and harvesting silk, to what he likes to pair with Ecco Domani. "To me, the most successful pairings consist of mostly summertime foods, like a soft-shell crab. I made this the other day and played with a yuzu sauce. Or a chicken paillard with a pistachio oil aioli and a touch of apple cider vinaigrette." The playful label consists of a confetti degradé design inspired by Zac Posen's runway show for his Resort 2016 collection. Shamefully, I asked what "degradé" meant; Posen explained with a gentle patience, "it's a transition of color." The polka dots are "much like the polka-dot patterns I had developed on a chiffon, which has that transparency and movement like a bottle. The pinks, blues and metallics associate with the bursts of flavor and the high citrus and floral notes in the wine. The intention was to add a bit of whimsy to the tablescape and summertime wine drinking. I really wanted to play with that soft, grassy green–colored wine in the bottle with shadows and light. I think sometimes people are intimidated by wine, and I think this may serve as something to break that intimidation." I hung up the phone impressed with the thoughtfulness of the human on the other end of line. He's much more than a fashion icon, and I'm not just referring to his culinary endeavors; it makes sense that his partnerships follow suit. "Working with Ecco Domani is totally full circle for me today," Posen says. "I firmly believe in long term partnerships. They've been quite generous, pouring at different events that I've done and I've gotten quite familiar with their wines. What I love about Ecco Domani is its accessibility. It's an everyday drinking wine that can be used in celebration, yet it's a wine that's not going to break the bank. It's a way for people who aren't connoisseurs to still enjoy quality and luxury."

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