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WHAT IS A WINE CONSUMER TO DO?

John Tilson • 12/11/11        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

THINKING MAN


 

I have long advocated that the answer to this question is “Drink What You Like & Like What You Drink. And If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Drink It!” (To read my article on this subject click here)  This is a easier rule to follow than Will Rogers advice for buying stocks which was “ If It Goes Up Buy It. And, If It Doesn’t Go Up, Don’t Buy It!” Being in the investment business for some 40 years, I can assure you that the latter is an impossible rule to follow even though there are always clients who expect that to be the case.

Recently, since I have donned the Blending Man cape, I have expanded the wine question to include blending wines you don’t like. (To read the first article click here.   To read the second article click here To read the third article click here.) You see, if you don’t like a wine, you can often save it by adding another wine. And, in many cases, the best wine to add is one that is less expensive! So, I say, put that in your glass and drink it! I have offered a few recipes for this in past articles that are referenced above. Now, I am convinced more than ever that this is something that has a lot of upside for all wine drinkers. First, you take something that you already do not like so much and make it better. Second, you can blend a few things and make a wine that exactly suits you palate and is better than the individual components. To me, it is like cooking. Cooking is all about creating something that is better than just one ingredient.

Now, of course, there are exceptions in food and in wine. In food, I do not know how you can make something better than perfectly ripe, fresh picked fruit. Although, even in that instance, I know there are many who would add other ingredients (like extra sugar) to make it better. And, in wine I don’t know how you can improve a really great wine. But, I do know that some people would also add sugar and who knows what else in the new world of “industrialized wine making”. (To read my article on that subject click here)   However, for me, I think you can some times make a wine you don’t like better by blending two or three or more different wines to match the food you are eating. If we can make great dishes by blending foods, then I think we can make great complements to those foods by blending wines. Indeed, is the concept of designer wines blended on the spot to accompany certain dishes far off? I think not, and in a wine world of increasing supply of commoditized wine, I think it will soon happen. It may be a marriage of chefs and sommeliers or perhaps one or the other. Or, maybe, at least in the beginning, it may be just consumers like you and me. Who knows? I do not know exactly how it will happen. But, as I said, I believe it will happen. And, like a friend of mine recently said “A dam breaks with a single drop of water.”

blending man

So with this is mind, I have decided to spend more time in the Blending Man cape and will be offering special blends on a regular basis in a new feature entitled “The Blending Game”. In this game I will be “The Blending Man” (even though I must admit that I bear no resemblance to our super hero image!)  The first article in the new series will be posted very soon. Watch for it! I think that I can rescue some wines and create others that are better than the individual components. So I hope you will join me and get in The Blending Game! This is a participatory sport. We can accommodate a lot of Blending Men and Blending Women.  And, if these titles do not fit, no matter. Everyone is invited. Come one, come all.  I invite everyone to send in wine blends to share. It could evolve as a recipe book for wine. The time is here. So post up your blends and send in your candid photos and opinions. It promises to be a lot of fun, interesting, and very rewarding! Get In The Blending Game!!

In Vino Veritas,Sig

John Tilson

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2 comments for “WHAT IS A WINE CONSUMER TO DO?”

  1. Thanks, John – as I thought I was the only one. I guess it is happening more than we both realize. Yes, the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts, when it comes to blending wine. This is actually not a new concept, though it’s not usually done by the end consumer. Keep in mind that the cellar masters of the world frequently blend the wines from different parcels of a vineyard to craft the style of the final product – and sometimes blend different vintages as well (e.g. Champagne).

    That being said, I have had great success blending “mystery wines” that I feel may complement each other; for example, an astringent aromatic wine with a fruity but flabby one. Maybe I may try blending a cheap sweet cab lacking oak and richness that I like, with a weedy, mocha and tobacco flavored malbec and see what happens.

    Posted by jeff okean | February 9, 2012, 7:39 am
  2. Thanks Jeff,
    My idea behind the Blending Game is for wine drinker’s to blend wines they don’t like into something that they do like. It’s that simple. I will be publishing a series of articles going forward as the Blending Man. I have already done a lot of blending with great success. And you are correct, that the idea is to add wines that have a character that offsets the negative character of the wine being blended.
    Yes, wines are nearly always blended or selected by producers – different vineyards, different parts of vineyards, different grapes, etc. This is the norm. Even in the greatest vineyards selections are made and certain barrels or vats are sold off separately. But, I am not aware of anyone who ever advocated for consumers to blend wines they purchased and didn’t like. Hence, the Blending Man! Remember, at the end of the day, wine is just another food group. Blend to Win!
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | February 9, 2012, 3:39 pm

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