Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Beyond the Varietal... BLEND Seattle

Ask any winemaker and they'll tell you that "great wine is made in the vineyard." Often times they'll go on and on about how it's really just their job to "get out of the way" or "not mess it up."  Winemakers are so humble (sarcasm).  While claims to the contrary are rampant, the winemaker is making the wine after all. With single varietal wines there are several variables that a winemaker must consider.  Nowhere however, is their able hand more present than in a wine blend.

The blend has long been a staple of winemaking, from Bordeaux to Champagne to Chateauneuf du Pape blending wine has allowed winemakers to use their palates to help the vineyards along.  Blending various varietals together to create an expression of the vintage, a particular style of wine, or a completely new concoction.  For a long time, traditional blends ruled the day.  Bordeaux varietals blended with Bordeaux varietals, and Rhone Varietals with Rhone Varietals.  In many cases this is still the most common blending that you'll find even here in the Pacific Northwest, but many winemakers are beginning to set aside that tradition and blend together Cabernet and Syrah or Riesling and Chardonnay.  These outside the box blends often create flavor profiles that are unique and surprising.

On September 16th, Washington wine fans will get an opportunity to try some of the state's most tried and true blends, along with some of it's newest wine creations.  Over 40 wineries from Washington and the world, along chefs from some of the region's most exclusive resorts and inns like the Salish Lodge, will be sharing their wines and food pairings with guests at BLEND, at the Bell Harbor Conference Center.

While wine tastings are always a good time, BLEND hopes to have guests learn a thing or two, about their own palates and some of the wines on hand.  A few select wineries will be demonstrating what went into their blends at the Barrel Blending Station. Guests can taste the blend, as well as the different varietal components and hear the winemaker explain what that particular blending does to the wine.

Additional highlights will include international tasting stations, the Bubble lounge that includes Champagne and sparkling wines  and ciders to pair with oysters from Taylor Shellfish, and a special blending of Project V and Fonte Coffee to create an espresso martini.

Throughout the event there will be giveaways that include stays at some of the region's top destination resorts and getaway locations.  Tickets will go fast and they are only $49, get yours here. Or check out our Facebook page this week where we'll be giving tickets away between now and next Wednesday (August 8th).


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