We will be tasting new releases of California Red Blends, for inclusion on our list. Robert Boehme of Vermont Wine Merchants Company will be on hand to discuss the wines and answer any questions. Why blend red wines together? There are many rationales. Most obvious is to ameliorate the shortcomings of one wine by adding another with a different set of deficiencies, saving both varieties. The reason that most inexpensive New World wines are without obvious flaw is because they are blends. Most varietally labeled wines are also blends.|
The laws governing blending vary greatly from country to country. In the U. S. A. a wine may be varietally labeled if 75% of the wine consists of the named variety. So don't imagine that when you purchase a wine labeled Cabernet Sauvignon there isn't a little of something else in there-up to 25%. The past decade has seen a strong trend away from pure varietally labeled wines in the U. S. A. Wine lovers have apparently grown tired of varietal wines that resemble each other too closely and are intrigued by blended wines with proprietary names. Unlike French law, which governs all blends, U. S. law gives the winemaker total discretion. And so we now have blends of Syrah and Zinfandel, unheard of just a decade ago. A dash of history is helpful here because there's a method to the madness: "Field blends" were historically used to protect the farmer and the winemaker.
Biodiversity is, after all, a good thing and if for whatever reason the Zinfandel didn't do well one year, or a bug came along with a predilection for Petit Sirah, well, at least part of the year's crop would come through.. The format will be casual, walk around with cheese and bread. The wines featured will be:
The Other Guys, "Hey Mambo", Syrah, Zinfandel, Barbera, Petite Sirah & Alicante Bouchet, California 2008
Pellegrini, "Family Blend", Zinfadel, Merlot & Carignane, Sonoma County 2005
Trinitas Cellars, "Old Vine Cuvee", Zinfandel, Carignane, Mataro, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet & Black Malvasia, Contra Costa County 2006
Epiphany Cellars, "Gypsy", Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignane & Petite Sirah, Santa Barbara County 2005
Halter Ranch, "GSM", Estate Bottled, Grenache, Mourvedre & Syrah, Paso Robles 2006
A sign-up sheet will be available at the front desk (253-5742 or 800-826-7000) and there will be a $15.00 fee per person.
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