If you saw our post about blending port last week, you know all about First Crush Winemaking! You know about how they like to take wine drinkers through every stage of the process; from the vines to the berries to the bottle! Well, one of those processes is blending. Blending is where some of the post-winemaking art comes into play! They can take the best parts of certain wines and use those to enhance other wines in order to make a well-balanced blend that will please any palate.
At the blending seminar that we attended, Jeff Steele from Roxo Port Cellars was there, telling us all about the different varietals used in traditional Portuguese port-making and his approach to blending. According to Jeff, winemaking is a combination of science and art, and that shows in his Ports. What is port, you may ask? Well, port is wine that is fortified with some sort of grain alcohol to create a sweet, complex, rich treat that can be sipped as an apertif, paired with a main dish, or enjoyed as an after-dinner course, maybe even with a cigar! They add the alcohol to the fermenting juice at just the right time to stop the fermentation process and maintain a level of the brix (sugar content) in the wine.
While Jeff blends his Roxo Port wines for many reasons, including certain flavor profiles, structure, and color, we were blending for FUN! That’s right, we got to take 4 different traditional Portuguese port varietals and measure and sip until we got the right combo. The hard part was deciding which blend we liked the best…they were all good!