The Wine Blending Party, Playing Winemaker

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wineblending1.jpgThis is probably one of the most unusual and some would argue illegitimate ways to have fun with wine. I introduce the concept rather hesitantly as wine makers roll their eyes in disgust whenever they hear about it. But it is fun and does warrant trying at least once even though it may result in some rather strange concoctions. Called the Wine Blending Party – it is all about putting yourself in the wine maker’s shoes. Shiv Singh explains the idea and dares you to try it.


The premise of the Wine Blending Party format is rather simple. Just as a winemaker is tasked with creating a wine blend drawing from different grape varietals grown in his or her vineyard, so too should you be able to do the same. But the problem is that, since you don’t have your own vineyards, you use bottles of wine instead to create the blend.
Here’s how it works. You tell each of your guests to bring a bottle of wine over for the dinner. But ask them to bring specific varietals so that someone is charged with bringing the Cabernet Sauvignon, the Merlot, the Pinot etc. The bottles should be as pure a varietal as one can get.
Then when everyone has arrived, assign the guests to teams of two or three. Each team is then asked to create a specific blend such as a ‘Bordeaux’ from Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot or ‘Super Tuscan’ from Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. You could even ask guests to create non traditional blends but who knows what those concoctions may taste like!
Make sure that each team has a carafe and a measuring cup with enough stemware to be able to taste the blends side by side. Winemakers require a lot to make good wine! The teams should first pour the predominant wine varietal into their decanter. After which they should add the secondary varietals in different quantities to determine what creates the optimal blend. It is very important to keep track of your blend, ie, the percentage of grape varietals in it.
Once each team has made its wine everyone comes together to taste each other’s blend. The team whose wine is scored the highest on authenticity and drinkability (getting both is tough) wins. To make it even more interesting you could then conduct a blind tasting between the party made Bordeaux blend and an authentic Bordeaux blend.
Try it and report back here! The Wine Blending Party could be a lot of fun though I wouldn’t waste expensive wine on it.

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