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Blending and testing: Wine Wizard


The Zin of Blending We just blended a 55 gal. 1997 oak barrel with a blend of 60% Zinfindel and 40% Merlot. Whatever comes out, we’re going to drink it! But could we have done better with a different combination? Please advise. Gary Anderson Lodi, California Since I can’t taste your wine and so don’t know the profile of each individual component, it’s hard to give you “the right” answer. And I would hazard that there really is no right answer; it all depends on what you are trying to achieve in your final wine. Zinfandel is a fun grape to work with because it can be made in so many different styles, from heavy Port-style dessert wines to light, dry rosés. Similarly, Zinfandel exhibits extreme character differences depending on where and how it’s grown. Head-trained Zin from Amador County, California, for example, can be really rich and almost Port-like (even when made in a table wine style) whereas I find that “old vine” Zinfandel from the Russian River appellation of California is more of an elegant wine with fewer