The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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ON THE SCENE Author Blaine Ashley visits flipflop wines in Livermore, CA. A SUMMERTIME VISIT TO THE CASUAL WINE BRAND FROM UNDERDOG WINE & SPIRITS A flipflop Good Time L by Blaine Ashley Be on the lookout for the new-to-release flipflop rums! ast month, I had the special opportunity to visit Underdog Wine & Spirits, and more specifically, flipflop wine, at their lovely Livermore vineyard with a welcome toast of Bubbly Moscato. After light mingling with flipflop wines vintner David Georges, VP Jeff Dubiel, Brand Manager Kimberly Geluz and Brand Ambassador James Moreland, the small group cozied into the Underdog Wine Bar for a delicious pairing dinner that featured the über-drinkable flipflop Pinot Grigio. Over the course of meal we got a little more insight into the cheap chic principal behind flipflop wines. Through their parent company, Underdog Wine and Spirits, flipflop has been able to source grapes from all over the world for its vast range of varietals and produce a $15–$20 wine for just $7. The wine company caters to a millennial consumer with an approachable, user-friendly twist-off bottle boasting pairing tips on the label. "Light-bodied, refreshing with tropical citrus, ripe pear and a zest clean finish," the Pinot Grigio label attests, also suggested pairing the light white wine with brus- chetta, spaghetti carbonara as well as offering up chilling instructions. There's even a "barometer" on every bottle scaling the dry-to-sweet measurement. The day after our wine bar dinner, we had the chance to taste our way through all 13 wines, which initially launched just last April with the Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Moscato, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. This selection has now expanded to Bubbly Pinot Grigio, Bubbly Chardonnay, Bubbly Moscato, Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc. What's next? The group is constantly brainstorming. For now, they've settled on entering spirits with the one-year anniversary and April debut of flipflop Rums, in both Spiced and Silver expressions. In addition to sampling the selection of wines, we also enjoyed flipflop Spiced and Silver Rum cocktails created by Brand Ambassador James Moreland. Both excellent for mixing drinks, flipflop Silver Rum offers up citrus, lemon, lime orange peel, salt and grassy notes, while flipflop Spiced Rum is a mouthful of cinnamon hints, cardamom and pepper. When the company launched just a year and a half ago, they struck a relationship with Soles4Souls, a global charity whose mission is to collect shoes for distribution to the needy through cross-promotional partnerships, stores, drives, charity events and various other fundraising efforts. flipflop vouched to donate $1 from every bottle sold until they reached the goal dollar amount of $115,000. The wine company reached their goal within three months of launch and continues to support Soles4Souls by hosting sweepstakes and contests through their social media forums. 120 / the tasting panel / july 2012

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