My father came by the B&B where we were staying to give us a ride to the party. His friend, and wine making partner, Mac was also along. They were expecting 300 people at the party so we got there early to snag a parking spot close to the house and not off in a vineyard acres and acres away.
Upon arrival, we cozied up to one of the round tables with my dad, Mac, and two more of their friends. All engineers, all well versed in wine. Talk about intimidating. I mean, one of the guys is flying off to South Africa next week to pick up an award -- for developing GPS technology. And, they all know wine well. Brett and I know what we like but we don't have the vocabularly... you know, nose of blackberries and leather, barnyard.... that kind of stuff.
|Mac, my dad, and Mr. GPS|
We were to blend and come up with our "best" recipe for two wines. Those were recorded on sheets of paper and turned in at the end. From those sheets, Len comes up with the blend he will use for the two wines and then they are released. Last year, one of them won a gold medal. It's serious fun.
The first wine we blended was called SFR; short for Sh*t Faced Red, in honor of the first party. This wine had to be at least 50% petite sirah with the remainder being whatever we felt was best. We all thought the zin and the cabernet were the smoothest and that the other two were a bit too acidic -- pucker power. The men all sipped and opined and sipped and took notes. Brett and I sipped and nodded in agreement. Our group came up with a straight forward mix of 50% petite, 25% cab and 25% zin. No syrah at all.
The second wine was called Menage as in Menage a Bunch (there were four, not three wines) and we had to use all of them. This took some negotiation. Brett and I stayed out of it. We went and got food; it's important to eat food and not just stand around in the heat drinking wine.
I also made a trip to the port-a-potty which I normally wouldn't mention. However, these were like real restrooms inside -- clean, no smell, carpet on the floor, a sink with running water, paper towels and a trash can. Port-a-potties!!
After we finished blending, eating, drinking and peeing, we headed out to the vineyards to find the car and head home. The setting was beautiful and we had fun being wine maker for a day. I'm sure we'll go again next year.