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Tasting JAQK Cellars

Let me introduce you to my favorite new wine label: JAQK (which cleverly stands for Jack, Ace, Queen, King) cellars. Passionate about play and wine, the brains behind the yet-to-be-released label believe that a great bottle of wine can enhance the playful atmosphere between friends and family.

Last week I had the chance to sit down with Joel Templin (the founder) and Bernard la Borie (the president) to taste a couple of the label's wines. For a sneak peek of the fun company's wines, made by acclaimed winemaker Craig Maclean, and to see a bunch of images from the tasting,


Each wine has a catchy name, interesting story, and beautifully designed label. The eight affordable bottles range in price from $23-64.

While I didn't taste all eight, the wines that I sipped were lush, smooth, and intensely drinkable. My favorite was High Roller, a classic Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon with an elegant, rich texture and dark cherry aroma.

With its deep-purple color and full body, Black Clover, JAQK's merlot, will make the grape made unpopular by the movie Sideways trendy again. The clover-etched bottle is ideal for collecting. After the wine is consumed it would make a gorgeously Gothic vase.

The convention-breaking chardonnay, Pearl Handle, is refined through egg whites. The wine is buttery, fruity, and balanced. My favorite bottle was the sparklingly designed Charmed, the sauvignon blanc. Crisp and mouth-watering, it has an appley aroma.

If you love wine or know a wine-lover, I highly recommend seeking out a bottle come October. Both the liquid and bottle are expertly crafted, resulting in wine that is delicious yet playful, making it an ideal gift for any wine aficionado.

The table was set with JAQK information and paraphernalia.

JAQK's distribution boxes make a fun centerpiece.

At a great wine tasting, you will be given a new glass for each wine.

Soldiers of Fortune Shiraz.

Crackers to cleanse the palate.

I was given a decorative pack of JAQK playing cards as a party favor.

What a fun place to take notes!

Since the wine has not been released, everything we tasted were barrel samples.

Instead of having a regular business card, founder Joel Templin gives out poker chips.

The unfinished Chardonnay resembles extra virgin olive oil.

Wine lined up for tasting.

My favorite red: High Roller.

The playing cards out of their deck.

Empty glasses await wine.

The JAQK box.

A description of 22 Black, the label's low-end Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Sauvignon Blanc was my fav of the whites.

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