For some time now, I have been talking to friends about having a wine blending party. My concern was ruining all that wine if the blends were bad. So when I visited Melville on a recent trip to Santa Barbara County wineries and found they had a six pack of three different Pinot Noir clones, my blending party was born.
Alvin, the guy pouring that day, told me about each clone and we tasted each one. Then the fun began! We blended the three together in thirds and the outcome showed that these wines blended together in any configuration could only turn out terrifically.
Now to the party...a quick tour through the Women & Wine website provided me with the pot roast recipe from JAR in Los Angeles. It's one of my favorite restaurants and a one pot meal was perfect for this kind of party.
In four groups of four, the blending began. My friends, as it turns out, are all budding chemists! Straws were used (no eye-droppers available) to put drops of wine into the blends; groups whispered to keep their formulas secret; and each group made five to eight blends before deciding on their favorite to present for tasting by all. Even the man in my life, who loves wine but isn't terribly interested in how it got into the bottle, was impressed by the discovery of the very different flavors of each clone and the blended results.
The real surprise was the different palates in our group. While we have all been drinking wines together for years, the favorites ran the gamut of very mellow blends all the way up to a little "heat". We all had a great time choosing and discussing our favorite and the pot roast was fabulous.
Next time we are going to try a Burgundy or Bordeaux blend and will have all the measuring accoutrement a chemist could wish for.
I encourage everyone to give blending a try. Let us know how it goes.