Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Consensus Blending at Keswick

The Consensus Team
George, Sue, Peggy, Chris, Mark
Consensus Blending at Keswick Vineyards near Charlottesville, Virginia, is an awesome way to spend a day. I have written about the Consensus blending before--an event sponsored by the vineyard that brings the wine club members together to blend a winning wine that the winery will bottle and sell.

Our team was ready for the challenge of taking four wines with defects and making a good tasting wine that people would buy. It was tough. We were presented with four wines: Touriga, Norton, Syrah, and Chambourcin; all grown on the estate and ready to be blended into a great wine.
The Consensus Tools:
Four wines, graduated cylinder, and a wine glass

Blending a winning wine takes a lot of patience, the ability to find ways to blend imperfect wines into a masterpiece, and a lot of luck. There is science involved, but as the winemakers says every year, we are being asked to do in two and a half hours what takes him six months to achieve. And we do fairly well. 

This year we had a lot of fun, enjoyed some really imperfect wines, and blended what we thought was a great wine (until we tasted it later) all while spending another awesome weekend in Charlottesville. Our wine did not do as well as we had hoped, but when we tasted it later during the blind judging portion of the day, I felt that it got what it deserved. I rated for the winning wine very high and it was a very nice blend. Our wine, was mediocre by comparison and we rated it as such. 

Although we felt bad that our blend didn't do well this year--we learned a lot and I know that I am already looking forward to next year's event.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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