The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2017

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28  /  the tasting panel  /  october 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! Boxtober 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/ spirits/beer on both the inside and the outside of the bottle. 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/spirits/beers have met the reasonably high yet unpretentious standard of simply being delicious and drinkable. PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG For info on submitting samples, email H ave you ever heard that obscure '80s song "Living in a Box," by Living in a Box? To jog your memory, the chorus asks, "Am I living in a box? Am I living in a cardboard box?" and repeats these lines over and over again for basically the entirety of the song. Not to sound like Jerry Seinfeld here, but what's the deal? If it's supposed to be symbolic, then why is his box cardboard? Class it up, dude, by at least making it glass . . . Anyway, I don't get it, but it is serving as a segue to this month's Down the Aisle—boxed wines! DOWN THE AISLE DOWN THE AISLE Earth Wise Vineyards 2015 Red Wine Blend, Spain ($25) For those who plan to host a party for the environmentally- conscious, Earth Wise Vineyards provides a whopping three liters of organic wine in sustainable packaging. The blend consists of Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Garnacha Tintorera primarily from La Mancha, Spain. The single-color printing and brown cardboard box certainly evokes an organic, "earth wise" approach. Plums and raspberries dominate in a rounded, easy-to-drink red blend. DELICATO FAMILY VINEYARDS Vin Vault Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($20) In a recent blind tasting of a larger pool of boxed wines with a group of retailers, organized by The Tasting Panel, Vin Vault won in almost every category/variety (the buyers didn't even know they were drinking boxed wines). Dark, ripe blackberries and a large dollop of vanilla precedes a cedary finish. Although the black packaging does make the box stand out, I think further emphasizing the vault concept of the box would really hit home that the wine stays fresh even after it's opened. E. & J. GALLO Bota Box Dry Rosé, California ($25) If I were a cool older lady named Barb, I think this packaging would appeal to me. The pink design detailing in both curvy and sharp patterns still leaves room for the natural, recyclable look. If I were to keep three liters of one type of wine in my fridge to consume over a period of several weeks, it'd likely be something like this. The Bota Box dry rosé offers light red fruits and a citrusy zing. DELICATO FAMILY VINEYARDS

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