Student Blend Final

My partner, Maddie, and I came into blending day with a plan of blending a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. We were hoping to bring some of the acidity and aromas of a Sauvignon Blanc to the lush creaminess of an oaked Chardonnay to match our food pairing. Our food was a broiled salmon with bearnaise sauce, sautéed zucchini and pommes natures, or boiled potatoes. We were presented with six wines, three red and three white. We were tempted to experiment with the reds, but ultimately chose to stay with our original plan. This left us with a neutral-barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc with cultured yeast, a new-oak barreled Chardonnay with cultured yeast that had batonnage of the lees, and a neutral-barreled Chardonnay, no batonnage with ambient yeast.

     Our first blend was half of the new-oaked Chardonnay with batonnage, and half of the neutral-barrel Sauvignon Blanc. The color was a pale yellow. The nose wasn’t what we were expecting but the acidity was bright and refreshing, cutting through the creaminess of the Chard maybe a little too much. On to our second attempt which was ¾ new-oaked Chardonnay and ¼ Sauvignon Blanc. The color for this was yellow to straw. This combination produced a better nose, an acidic wine, but not as acidic as our first blend, so it retained a bit of the creaminess we wanted for our dish. With our third blend, we wanted to try brining some of the neutral-barrel Chardonnay in. So, we started with 3/6th new-oaked Chardonnay, 2/6th neutral-barrel Chardonnay and 1/6th Sauvignon Blanc. This was the one we liked the best. The color was also a yellow to straw, the nose was lemon, granny smith apples and ripe peach. The blend had a creamier mouth feel than the other two, was dry and tasted of lemon curd and peach. We were happy with the result, and this was what we submitted.

     We were surprised at how much the nose changed with the blending. Scents we expected to blend well together negated each other. And the different styles of fruit would change say a ripe peach scent to a fresh peach scent. Flavors changed as well with blending, fighting or negating each other. Trying to find the right balance was tricky. We could have spent half the day playing with the proportions and could have ended up with a completely different wine. Wine blending is a meticulous art form.

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