Blending wine as a ”real” winemaker
I am not going to exaggerate and say that I am now a full blown wine maker. But I was very happy with my very own blend, made at Montgras in Chile during our wine tour in South America in February. Per and I drank the wine the other day. I tasted it blind and gave it 17 points out of 20. I said “I like it”, without knowing what it was. “You should”, said Per, “you made it!”
The wine was warm and fruity, quite soft but with a good structure. Carmenère dominated the blend.
And why had I blended this wine? Well, when we visited the winery Montgras in the Colchagua valley on our Chilean wine tour earlier this year we had a “blend your own wine” workshop.
It was very well organized. We had wine glasses, measuring glasses and bottles of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and carmenère at our disposal. Our mission was to try different blends and find the perfect one.
It was interesting to see what a difference adding only a few percentage points of a grape makes. Sometimes you will see wines that contain only 2 or 3 percent of a particular grape and you ask yourself if these drops can really make a difference. Yes, they can! The three percent cabernet sauvignon in my final blend “made” the wine so to speak.
I choose carmenère, the pride of Chile, as my dominant grape. It is a grape with personality. It requires full maturity if you want to avoid green flavors in the wine. The structure is good and in a well-made carmenère wine you get nice, soft tannins and a dry finish.
The 19 % merlot in my wine gave just the right fruitiness.
And then the topping up with 3 % cabernet sauvignon giving the wine some complexity, depth and a hint of dark berries.
Once we had created our perfect wine we used the recipe to blend a whole bottle. We corked and labelled the bottles by hand as in the old days.
I named my wine “Britt’s Blend”. Maybe not so creative but at least to the point. I carried my bottle all the way to Paris.
Was it worth it? Definitely.
If you want to participate in a wine blending event you can come on our upcoming wine and food tour to Chile and Argentina in South America. We have similar activities in other regions too, for example on wine tours to Bordeaux. Check the details of each program, or tell us what you want.