Wine Blending at Fleming's

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Last week I had the chance to create my own blend of red wine. Now at first images of the hilarious and memorable segment from I Love Lucy (for those of you old enough to remember famous comedienne, Lucille Ball and her husband Desni Arnaz who played Ricky Ricardo), titled "Bitter Grapes" where Lucy is wearing a peasant garb and standing in giant oak barrel and squishing grapes with her feet, I wondered how I was going to physically create a blend considering the event was held at an upscale steak restaurant.

Well the fabulous team at Fleming's Steakhouse in Coral Gables made it simple and so much fun.

A single gal, no friends available to join me this Tuesday evening, I went alone which made it more adventurous and sociable that new friendships blossomed.

Upon entering the room, I was immediately served a chilled, buttery Chardonnay. Oh my Dionysus (God of Wine) this has to be the best Chardonnay I ever savored.

In a small private dining room set with six tables, I took a seat at the first table and joined four other individuals, all friends.  The presentation started with an introductory video by Jean-Charles Boisset of Raymond Vineyards in California. Then the wine manager shared instructions on how to utilize the wine before us to create that perfect blend to our liking.

Sitting before us were three bottles of red wine and countless wine glasses for each person. The smaller glasses were to taste the individual red wines. Underneath each plate was a chart listing the different wines where we took notes on the aroma, flavors, complexity, anything really. 

The beaker to measure the percentage of each blend

After various back and forth sampling, the next step was to combine the red wines to create our own blend. We worked with a Merlot, a California Cabernet, and Sonoma Cabernet Savignon blend. To add to the fun and excitement and experimenting, the presenters then announced two contests,  where the winner was awarded a bottle of wine. The room was buzzing like drone of bees.  Time to harvest the wine and reap the rewards!

The first contest was best label (hand drawn design and name)
The second contest was best blend.

And these are just my glasses! That's a lot of drinking.

First the blend. More whiffing, swishing and tasting. Combinations were poured into the liquid beakers, then into larger wine glasses, sampled again and if frowned upon, dumped into a bucket and repeated until each person created a satisfactory blend to their wine palate.

 For the contest only one blend per table could be submitted. So what did this mean? More sampling of each person's blend at the table! More drinking! The table unanimously agreed on Albert's blend. At this point my marketing creative juices were sullied that thankfully Albert not only came up with best blend but a brilliant name "Beginner's Luck".  Delicious rounds of bar appetizers were served while the judges were sampling the various submissions. 

Jesus, Albert (holding Beginner's Luck blend), and me

 This event was more fun than I could imagine. The wine a well of aromatic berries and deep tannins, the presenters were helpful and engaging and the attendees...well a good wine relaxes and brings people together enjoying a common interest.

Fleming's offers unique dining and social programs to further elevate the dining experience.  I recommend following them on Facebook:


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