A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life
To subscribe and be notified anytime we post a new article, enter your email address in the box below, then click on Subscribe Now.

Underground Wine Line

Similar Articles:

  1. 2016 STUPID WINE DESCRIPTION AWARD WINNERS AND MORE!
  2. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!
  3. BURGUNDY – 2016 VISIT
  4. YIKES! THE 1000 POINT WINE SCORE IS HERE
  5. CHAMPAGNE DAY 2016
  6. OUTSTANDING OLD MARSANNAY ROSÉS
  7. A MONTE BELLO TOAST TO PAUL DRAPER
  8. THE PERILS OF FARMING – MOTHER NATURE DEVESTATES BURGUNDY
  9. DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME OF YEAR IT IS ON THE WINE CALENDAR?
  10. THE DAILY MEAL WINERY AWARDS
  11. STUPID WINE DESCRIPTION OF THE YEAR?
  12. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!
  13. ENCORE: DEAR SANTA, WE’VE GOT A LITTLE LIST
  14. BACK TO THE FUTURE
  15. A VIEW OF THE 2015 BURGUNDY VINTAGE IN ADVANCE OF THE ANNUAL UNDERGROUND WINELETTER TRIP TO BURGUNDY TO TASTE THE 2014S
  16. I HATE TO TELL YOU “I TOLD YOU SO” BUT “I TOLD YOU SO!”
  17. WHAT’S IN YOUR WINE GLASS?
  18. MORE ON BIB WINE
  19. THE JUDGMENT OF MOSCOW
  20. ROSÉ WINES AND THE GREAT ROSÉS OF PROVENCE
  21. A SHOT OUT OF THE BLUE: WE HAVE A NEW ENTRY IN THE WINE INGREDIENT LABELING DERBY
  22. PREMOX: “WHEREFORE ART THOU?”
  23. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015!
  24. PREVIEW: ALONG THE BUGUNDY TRAIL VINTAGE 2013
  25. CAUTION! WHAT’S IN YOUR WINE?
  26. FOR THE LOVE OF ROSÉS
  27. THE BEST WINERIES IN AMERICA - THE TOP 3 ARE FROM CALIFORNIA'S CENTRAL COAST!
  28. STOP THE PRESSES! THERE IS A NEW SCORING SYSTEM!
  29. WINE WRITING – WHAT IS IT?
  30. POLYESTER WINES
  31. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!
  32. THE UNDERGROUND IS BACK!
  33. CALLING TIME OUT
  34. ROSÉ - IT’S TIME HAS COME
  35. ARE NUTRITIONAL LABELS COMING TO ALCOHOLIC DRINKS?
  36. THE BLENDING GAME: ROSÉ & MORE
  37. ATTENTION ALL WINE CONSUMERS: WINE INGREDIENT LABELING IS HERE!
  38. EXCLUSIVE NEWS FLASH!
  39. THE GREATER FOOL?
  40. DOMAINE ALBERT GRIVAULT
  41. TASTING WINE VS. DRINKING WINE - IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
  42. A PAIR TO DRAW TO & A GUIDE FOR WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WINES THAT ARE FOOD FRIENDLY, BALANCED, AND CAPABLE OF AGING FOR AN EXTENDED TIME
  43. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!
  44. THE UNDERGROUND HISTORY AS WE BRIEFLY LOOK BACK AND THEN CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
  45. BYE BYE BIG KAHUNA
  46. A LOOK AT NV CHAMPAGNE – IS IT REALLY DIFFERENT THIS TIME?
  47. FAKE WINES IN CHINA - THE BEAT GOES ON
  48. 2011 BURGUNDY – THE SURPRISE VINTAGE
  49. THE MARRIAGE BLEND
  50. LOOKING FOR OLD WINE WITH IMPECCABLE PROVENANCE?
  51. WINE FRAUD AND A WINE DETECTIVE - THE STORY OF DON CORNWELL
  52. HISTORIC VINEYARD SOCIETY
  53. DON’T GET YOUR KNICKERS IN A TWIST!
  54. THE BLENDING GAME - IS IT TIME FOR THREE BUCK CHUCK?
  55. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE BEEN DYING TO KNOW ABOUT NEWLY RELEASED CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS!
  56. COUNTERFEIT WINE AND THE ROLE OF CHINA
  57. THE JUDGMENT OF PRINCETON
  58. WHEN TO TASTE, DRINK, & ENJOY YOUNG WINES & WHAT ABOUT ROSÉ?
  59. THE VINEYARD OR THE WINEMAKING? WHAT REALLY MATTERS?
  60. BLENDING GAME PREVIEW
  61. PREDICTING THE FUTURE!
  62. AMATEUR NIGHT AT THE WINE FOLLIES: THE ANSWER WAS LYING IN PLAIN SIGHT
  63. THE PERFECT WINE?
  64. ATTENTION COSTCO WINE SHOPPERS: WHEN IS A ROSÉ NOT A ROSÉ?
  65. NAPA VALLEY WINES – JUST WHEN I THOUGHT WE HAD SEEN EVERYTHING!
  66. THE WINE FRAUD STORY – THE BEAT GOES ON!
  67. DO WINE AND TOILET PAPER HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON?
  68. WINE JUSTICE STRIKES!
  69. FOODIES FIGHTING FOR FOIE!
  70. CALLING ALL WINE INVESTORS
  71. ONE WINEDRINKER’S OBSERVATIONS OVER NEARLY 30 YEARS: TWO FACES OF FRAUD? MORE TO COME?
  72. NEWS FLASH -- NEW ALCOHOL WARNING LABELS FOR WINE MAY SOON BE ISSUED!
  73. ROSÉ IS THE PERFECT ANTI WINE
  74. AN ENIGMA WRAPPED IN A RIDDLE – CAN AN UGLY DUCKLING BECOME A SWAN?
  75. STOP THE WINE PRESS! THE FBI HAS MOVED TO STOP WINE FRAUD!
  76. 2004 WHITE BURGUNDIES: PREMOX OR NOT? THE BEAT GOES ON!
  77. GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS
  78. WHAT’S ULLAGE GOT TO DO WITH IT? - THE CURIOUS CASE OF 1928 LA GAFFELIÉRE NAUDES
  79. LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE!
  80. WINE FRAUD – LIGHTNING STRIKES!
  81. WINE FRAUD – CAVEAT EMPTOR!
  82. BIRDS OF A FEATHER - LAUGHABLE WINE DESCRIPTIONS
  83. TIS THE SEASON!
  84. WHAT’S IN YOUR WINE BOTTLE?
  85. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!
  86. A NEW WINE FOR THE HOLIDAYS THAT HAS EVERYONE BUZZED
  87. WHAT IS A WINE CONSUMER TO DO?
  88. IS IT DRINK NOW AND PAY LATER? YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPY, BUT BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!
  89. BE THE MASTER OF YOUR DOMAIN!
  90. TAKE A DIFFERENT VIEW THAT IS EASY ON YOUR PALATE AND ON YOUR WALLET
  91. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - OCTOBER 2011
  92. Z IS FOR ZINFANDEL
  93. A NOTE FROM DARRELL CORTI
  94. THE BIRDS ARE STILL FLOCKING – WATCH OUT BELOW!
  95. SOME MORE BIG HOUSE RELATIVES PAY A VISIT TO THE UNDERGROUND
  96. WINE & CLOSURE
  97. YIKES! THE TIDE MAY BE GOING OUT SOON! WHO’S SWIMMING NAKED?
  98. WHAT IS WINE?
  99. HALLELUJAH!
  100. BLENDING GAME -- BLENDING MAN TO THE RESCUE
  101. HEARD ON THE GRAPEVINE
  102. NOW APPEARING AT A STORE NEAR YOU - DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA STARRING MALBEC & TORRONTES
  103. BLENDING PARTY – A NEW TWIST – FLASH DASH – WHAT'S IN YOUR GLASS?
  104. BBBB TRIBUTE
  105. OMG - IS IT THE END OF THE WORLD OR NOT?
  106. TAKE THE WINE CHALLENGE - BLENDING IS YOUR FRIEND!
  107. THE BORDEAUX ROAD AHEAD - A BUBBLE, A SPEED BUMP, OR BLISS?
  108. HERE AT LAST – BEYOND 100 POINTS – NIRVANA!
  109. BIRDS OF A FEATHER…
  110. FLASH! BIG NUMBERS WINE CRITIC ISSUES REPORT ON 2009 BEAUJOLAIS
  111. SPÄTBURGUNDER – WHAT IS IT?
  112. PINOT GRIS. IT'S FOR ME. DO YOU KNOW PINOT GRIS?
  113. THE BEAT GOES ON AND ON … “SUM YUNG VINE” X 2
  114. AND THE BEAT GOES ON…
  115. 100-POINT WINES – GET ‘EM WHILE YOU CAN!
  116. STORAGE, STORAGE, STORAGE!
  117. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! IT'S TIME TO GIVE THANKS AND ENJOY FOOD AND WINE!
  118. WOW! 2009 RED BURGUNDIES. STAY TUNED!!
  119. TIME TO GET INTO BEAUJOLAIS!
  120. A BARGAIN AT WHAT PRICE?
  121. VINOUS DRIVE-BY -- IT'S THE DRIVE-BY SIP AND SPIT!
  122. WINE TASTING OF THE MILLENNIUM
  123. ANSWER TO WINE TASTING OF THE MILLENNIUM
  124. PAST LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  125. DEAR SANTA, WE'VE GOT A LITTLE LIST
  126. THE UNDERGROUND IS BACK!
  127. WHY THE “UNDERGROUND” WINELETTER? ARE WE TERRORISTS?

BLENDING PARTY – A NEW TWIST – FLASH DASH – WHAT’S IN YOUR GLASS?

John Tilson • 6/5/11        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

OK. So recently I have been writing  about inexpensive wines and doing blending of wines that are not exactly to my liking to make something better. Yes, I know that sounds radical to some and downright heresy to some wine purists. So what? Get over it. Wine is just a beverage. It is a beverage that exists to complement your food and contribute to the dining experience. So given that, how is it different from food? For me, it isn’t. It is just another food group. But, I love great food and I love great wine. I am always looking for ways to enhance my experience with both and enjoy them both together. And, since I have established that I am curious in these writings, it follows that when I cook I like to experiment by blending different ingredients and creating a dish that I think is better than the sum of its parts.  And, yes there are a lot of people who would say that the food and wine at Chez Tilson is a cut above your average hash joint.

So, if I blend foods to make different dishes, why shouldn’t I blend wines to make a better wine? I see nothing at all unusual about this. I am just really surprised that it took me so long to come up with it. (And, in case you’re wondering, yes, I am a senior citizen entitled to the 10% senior discount at the local hardware store!) But wait just a minute. Don’t go there. I am not talking about blending wines that I really like. I am only talking about young wines that I am not totally crazy about.  In the recent article entitled Take The Wine Challenge – Blending Is Your Friend , I published my recipes for three red wine blends that I thought were significantly better than the individual wines used to make the blend. I had done extensive tastings of 33 different inexpensive red wines for The Dueling Inexpensive Red Wine  Line-Ups article. Obviously I liked some more than others. They were all wines I had never tasted before. And, had I not been doing the article, I am sure I would have never purchased most of them.

So guess what? I had a few that I did not like so much. And others that I thought could be enhanced by adding other wines. The third recipe included 2 wines that were Not Recommended and a  Recommended wine and a Highly Recommended wine. It was the most challenging, but by blending the four wines in varying amounts I created a wine that I really liked and rated  Highly Recommended. In fact, I liked it so much that I drank the glass that I blended. Some days later, I decided to repeat the red wine blend recipe and make another glass. I tasted it and the blend seemed just the same and just as good as the first. But, I was now craving another style of wine to go with the food I was about to eat. I was putting together my food when I noticed some open white wines in the refrigerator. One was the lovely 2009 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris which I love and have been drinking. Suddenly, the taste of that wine ran through my mind and onto my palate which was still linked to the blended red wine I had just tasted.

Zing! I was hit by an inspiration. I grabbed the Pinot Gris and poured enough to equal about ¼ of the red wine. I swirled it and smelled it. Fabulous – an enhanced bouquet with hints of peaches and flowers. On the palate there was very complex fruit and the wine was very smooth and soft. It was really delicious with just the slightest chill from adding the cold white wine. It was by sheer accident that I blended Pinot Gris with the blended red wine. But, then the wheels started turning and I remembered how Viognier is often added to Syrah in making Côte Rotie. This really works. And, I am actually surprised that more new world producers of massive Syrahs  have not done the same thing. I think it would greatly enhance the complexity and drinkability of many of these wines. In fact, adding different white wines to a lot of red wines is something that deserves more consideration.

So the next night I had an open bottle of  Oceana Winery Project Happiness Syrah in the refrigerator. And, I decided to make a blend with some white wine. In the refrigerator I also had an open bottle of  a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It had a bit too much grassiness for me, but I loved the crispness and grapefruit flavors. So I added the Sauvignon Blanc to the Syrah in a ratio of 1 part Sauvignon Blanc to 3 parts Syrah. The wine was cold as both bottles were taken straight from the refrigerator, but I was looking for a chilled wine so this fit the bill. And, guess what? The added zip and tang of the blend was really delicious. In fact, it was so nice that I decided to see what it would be like if I moved the blend more toward rosé. So I reversed the blend – 3 parts Sauvignon Blanc to 1 part Syrah. Eureka! I had a delicious tangy, fruity, full flavored rosé with lots of zip!

So at last, I found an additional dose of happiness that had escaped me when I first tasted the Oceana Wines Project Happiness Syrah for The Dueling Inexpensive Red Wine Line-Ups article (To read the article click here). And, so what if I had to bring in a saucy Sauvignon Blanc to find my happiness? Strange stuff can be interesting. The little tart was a great complement to the big boy! And, in this case, I had blended wines that suited my taste better than either of the 2 wines I used in the blend.

Now I realize that the blending possibilities for unknown new wines that do not exactly fit my taste are almost limitless. Or, at least, limited only to the extent that wines that I blend still do not meet my taste. Wow! I am tickled pink about my discovery. For me, it is a way to move up  in enjoyment for almost any young wine that does not meet my expectations.  And, all with just a little flash dash. So go ahead and try new wines. Red wines, white wines, rosés. It doesn’t matter. If they are not quite up to your expectations, put a cork in them and put them in the refrigerator. And, then over the next few days blend them with something else. And always remember where you are. This is not main street media. It isn’t even wine street media. It’s the Underground. Expect the unexpected. Be adventuresome. Try new wines. If some don’t exactly meet your taste, don’t despair, start blending. And pass along the concept and recipes to your friends. It’s the Blending Game!

The Original Blending Game Party!

So be the first on your block to have a Blending Game party!  This could find you happiness. It works for me. I’m lovin’ it!  Just a flash dash — it’s what’s in my glass. What’s in your glass?

In Vino Veritas,Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

John Tilson

white

Post a Comment

4 comments for “BLENDING PARTY – A NEW TWIST – FLASH DASH – WHAT’S IN YOUR GLASS?”

  1. Winemakers here [ Australia ]have been blending big [& not so big ]shiraz with viognier for some years now
    Our oldest [& best,at least in my view ]grower of viognier is Yalumba

    Posted by Chris Foskey | June 5, 2011, 6:03 pm
  2. Absolutely fascinating article! Really revolutionary as well — particularly blending the whites with the reds. I had forgotten about Cote Rotie. I have had some Pinot Gris wines from Oregon and really liked them. I find myself drinking a lot of lighter style, lower alcohol whites of late. I seldom like to have wines that are so big that they are analogous to “chocolate malts” with extra syrup and whipping cream. E.G., I have never been a big fan of Syrah as they tend to be too big, high in alcohol and caustic tasting for me. Most of the wines in my cellar are good as is, but blending some of the ones I’m not wild about to potentially improve them, could be huge. Not to mention, the occasional “dud” that I buy that needs help. I loved the article. It opened my eyes. I am going to join the blending game. Thanks for your insights!

    Posted by Jim Moore | June 6, 2011, 1:04 pm
  3. Hi Chris,
    That seems a good approach to tame down some of the monster wines. Arew there some blends that you think are particularly good. If so, could you forward the names and any notes you have. I will then look for them here.
    Thanks.
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | June 6, 2011, 4:25 pm
  4. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for your kind words. I think this blending thing will really work for a lot of people. Pass it along! I often try “bargain” wines. Some are good, others not so good. But, the not so good ones can be made a lot better by investing a modest amount of money in another bottle (or pull something from your cellar that you don’t like so much) that adds what is felt to be missing in the not so good bottle. I will be publishing more examples of this in the future. In the meantime, welcome to the blending game!
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | June 6, 2011, 4:30 pm

Post a Comment