Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blending of Wines?

Blending of Wines?

With this Blog, we are going to turn our attention to the much misunderstood wine process of…”Blending of Wines”!

This has become such a common practice by wineries, that we thought it warranted a good dose of facts!

Firstly, we are all familiar with blending ‘stuff’. When we pour cream into our coffee and stir it with our spoon, we are ‘blending’ the two ingredients together. Likewise, if we were to take the juice from a Valencia orange and the juice from a fresh Mango and pour and stir them together, we would end up with a ‘Valencia Orange/Mango’ blend.  In any case, blending seems to be a fairly straightforward and a simple process. Is it, however, just as simple and straightforward for wine?

To answer this question, we’re going to have to enter a ‘fantasyland’. For the sake of seeking the truth to this question, we need to pretend that we shared a winning lottery ticket! Even after we paid off all our debts, we have some money left. After some brainstorming, we elect to start ‘Our Own Winery” (yep, that’s the name that we chose). One of the first decisions that we need to make is whether we want to make ‘filtered’ or ‘unfiltered’ wines. Since most of the wines at our local wine store are ‘filtered’, we decide to follow their suit.  The second decision that we need to make is what kinds of wines that we are going to make. Since most of the same wines are ‘Red, White & Rose’, we elect to follow the pack. From now on it gets a little tricky. Since most of the filtered wines are ‘mixed & blended’, we’ve got to go to our ‘color chart’ and pick a ‘color’ for each of our wines. Once we settle on our colors, we’ve got to find a bunch of supplier sources for our juices. Since Nature doesn’t care about our ‘color chart’, we’ve got to line up enough juice suppliers so that we can vary our juice purchases each year from each source. In other words, this year we might need to buy 30% from supplier ‘A’, 30% from supplier ‘B’ and 40% from supplier ‘C’! Next year, however, that ratio might not work. Instead, we might need to buy 10% from supplier ‘A’, 60% from supplier ‘B’ and 30% from supplier ‘C’! Whatever the combination, we’ll need to dump these juices into our mixing tank and ‘Mix & Blend’ them all together. If we’re lucky, the combined color should match our ‘color chart’. Wow!...I sure hope that all that juice sourcing and mixing and blending to match our ‘color chart’ is worth it!

The fact is….”it’s NOT worth it!! You see, color has “NO” affect upon the Taste, Flavor or Bouquet of our wines! If there is “NO” positive affect upon our wines, it should “NOT” be done! What all wineries should be doing is celebrating the fabulous diversity in the colors and tastes of the grapes and fruits.



Naturally, the colors of our wines are determined by how much sunlight, rain and nutrients that the plants and fruits receive. Logically, the natural colors of our wines will/should vary from year to year and from harvest to harvest. For wineries to step in and artificially create consistent colors to match a color chart is a disservice to us all!

So, now that we’ve got the facts, perhaps we need to step back and review our winery plans. It would be a whole lot better for us to create our wines in concert with Nature. Instead of ‘mixing and blending’ we’ll concentrate on making our wines to be the best that they can be. Then, when our wines are ready for us and our customers to enjoy, we’ll tell everyone why our colors are different this year from last. In wine making as in everything else in life, it’s always best to be honest and forthright!

Until next time….”Salute and Happy Days”!