Intern Hilary: Tasty, Affordable Wine from JAQK Cellars
JAQK Cellars is the brainchild of winemaker Craig MacLean and graphic designers Katie Jain and Joel Templin. Following the mantra of indulging in ones’ passions, the founders decided on the name JAQK (Jack, Ace, Queen, King) to represent the playful nature of their wines. Each bottle is aesthetically pleasing thanks to the monumentally talented graphic design duo, while the wine in each bottle aims to please any palette.
The tasting began with “Charmed” Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (2009), which features a whimsical swirling design of card suits and other lucky charms on the bottle. Then came “Her Majesty,” the 2009 Napa Valley Chardonnay that Dees explained was “for the ladies.” Taste table #1 finished with the 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay “Pearl Handle,” which turned out to be my favorite at that table due to its spicy pear aroma.
Taste table #2 began with “Bone Dance,” a 2007 Napa Valley Merlot whose name and bottle decoration reference the rolling of dice. Next was the 2008 Napa Valley Merlot “Black Clover,” my second favorite with its hints of dark chocolate and cherry.
I reached taste table #3 and tried “Soldiers of Fortune,” the 2007 Napa Valley Syrah, and “22 Black,” the 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that had been dubbed the “crowd pleaser.” The real clincher was the final bottle, a 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Named the “High Roller,” the final red was the most expensive bottle at around seventy-seven dollars and featured an invigorating blend of red licorice and mint.
At this point, I was sold. JAQK Cellars isn’t just a pretty face; the founders created the perfect marriage between genuine product and the razzle-dazzle of great packaging. While the attractive design may draw you in, the taste of what’s in the bottles will keep you coming back for more. So go ahead, let yourself play. Pick up a bottle or order one online at www.jaqkcellars.com.