Team #6: Jia Yi Zou & Kai Yin Lee
Menu Item: Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
In our second week in Red Hook Winery, we got the chance to experiment with the 2018 Cabernet Franc from the east edge of Seneca Lake, a 2018 Merlot from North Fork and a 2018 blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Through the wine tasting the first week in Red Hook Winery, we felt that the best base note would be the 2018 Cabernet Franc. The 2018 Cabernet Franc has a light intensity, neutral oak and very balance of tannin and acidity. We felt that it would be a great food pairing with our menu dish. On the other hand, the 2018 Merlot and the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is quite intense for our dish. The 2018 Merlot is very tannic and high in acidity with little oak. Compare to the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvigon had a similar taste but strikes our sense with a pleasant strawberry, raspberry and cherry aroma. Kai and I came to Red Hook with a clear vision that we want the light body from Cabernet Franc, the structure from Merlot and the strawberry aroma from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Kai and I had tried a total of seven blends before we eliminate other possibilities and found the chosen one. The original blend contains 90% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. To our surprise it was a fruity light body red wine that even for non wine drinkers like us will really like it. But we knew that something we like doesn’t mean it will go well with the dish. We felt the blend was too light body and had no character. We want our wine to be medium low intensity with strawberry aroma and the complexity of red wine. Throughout the experiment, we blend and taste together. We analyze what was lacking and tried to fill in the gap. We also try to swap the formula the other way around where we put less of the Cabernet Franc. It was quite a mistake because the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvigon were too overpowering. We decided that blend 4 that contain 60% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon was the winning blend out of the seven blends. The color is a bright garnet red with a strawberry aroma, fruity, medium low intensity, and well balanced tannin that adds structure to the wine. It was very rewarding that we were able to experience the process of wine making and how blends of different wine can become something new and exciting.