Has it only been a week? Time does fly when you are having fun, but I have been doing SO MUCH running around that I can’t believe I have only been in Israel for 1 week so far (OK, 9 days). I have 6 days left, but I know that will fly. I’m headed up North tomorrow to the Galil region which includes the highly regarded Galil & Golan Heights viticultural sections. Can’t wait!
But what I wanted to write about tonight was some quick “blending” tidbits.
While at a winery last week talking to a winemaker he had some visitors. While telling the people about his wine, a woman noted that they were all blends – no 100% varietal wines. When the winemaker briefly walked away to take a call she mentioned to me and the two others in her party that she thought blends were inferior to wines made from only 1 grape varietal. I told her that I thought otherwise – what about Bordeaux, which can consist of up to 5 grape varietals? She was surprised to hear this, and a gentleman who was with her then said that yes they are blends, but they consisted mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon. Once again trusty Wine Tasting Guy told them that many Bordeaux (generally Right Bank) have a majority Merlot. This too surprised them. In the end they realized that this winemaker is making quality wines and they purchased a few bottles.
The second blending story took place tonight, following the completion of the Succot holiday. I was in Jerusalem for the last day and made my way upon the holiday’s completion from Jerusalem to a winery near Sederot. There I worked with some winemaker friends on a blend. I am by no means qualified to concoct a wine blend. Like everyone else I know if I like a wine or not. And yes I may be able to comment on and attempt to assess a wine, but create a blend??? We were playing with 3 varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah & Sangiovese. It was a lot of fun and I learned a thing or two but in the end I think I made things harder on my winemaker friends as opposed to being able to help them out.
A quick recommendation. Make your own blends! No, I’m not saying you should go become a winemaker (although that isn’t a bad idea either), what I’m saying is it is OK to mix wines. If you happen to have some leftover wine from 2 or more bottles you MAY want to consider mixing them. I wouldn’t mix different colors, vintages, or very different wines. And truthfully, more often than not the new wine will probably not be as good as the original wines. But I DO like to mix bottles for 1 reason. TO PREVENT OXIDATION. If I find myself with more than one open bottle and want to best preserve the wines, the best thing to do is to fill ONE bottle and re-cork, removing all oxygen. Although the wine might be a little weird, at least it won’t be ruined – something that happens with extended exposure to oxygen…
Happy wine blending!!