Better Together: Creating Red Blends

Early in my winemaking career I had the good fortune to work with one of the founders of Kenwood Vineyards, Mike Lee, who really knew how to blend wines to make them taste even better. Even though I was a rookie just out of school, he let me take part in blending trials tasting different vineyard lots to select which would make the cut for the final blend. If you are unfamiliar with the process of blending wine you may think that it is as simple as throwing everything together in one big tank and mixing it up, but to be successful you need to put a little more thought into it. A winemaker would no more throw all their wines together without thinking than a chef making a soup would put all of the ingredients in the kitchen into one pot and call it done. To make something that actually tasted good a chef would carefully consider what might go well together, then once it was on the stove taste a spoonful out of the pot while it was