#99 Create a Wine Blend

On January 26, 2019 we attended a wine blending event held at Catoctin Breeze. For a few hours we were winemakers experimenting with four different types of red wines in different combinations to create a Bordeaux-style blend. The wines we chose from were Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.

Before we began we needed to taste each of the four base wines to give us an idea of what we had to work with and give us ideas of which wines we would choose and at our choice of proportions. (We needed to blend at least two of the wines). Over the two hours, Mary Ann and I worked with another couple, each blending our own combinations of wines. We used measured beakers and measured eyedroppers to get the proper proportions, according to our guess percentages of each wine. We tasted each other’s creations and tried to differentiate the flavors of each of the component wines. After the first round, we all refined our wine selections and proportions. Again, we tasted each other’s creations. Then we voted on our favorite. The group chose mine to present to the winemaker and to the other group of 4 winemakers. I think mine was 45% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Petit Verdot. We liked ours better than the other group.

In the end it was a good time and we drank a lot of wine, some of it good.

Note: We could not create a ‘Bordeaux’ because that is a legally protected name for the wines created in the Bordeaux region of France. There are red, white, and sparkling Bordeaux wines although I have only seen and tasted the reds. In the US, a Bordeaux-style blend of wine is sometimes called ‘Meritage’. However, the name ‘Meritage’ can only be used if the winemaker is licensed by owner of the Meritage trademark, the California-based Meritage Alliance. ‘Bordeaux’ or ‘Meritage’? No big deal. To me it’s just a name for a blended wine.

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