This year, we attended the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Wine Blending seminar. In previous years, we’ve attended Modern Mixology and Beer, Please!. The seminars are always full of great information.
This year, we attended the Wine Blending seminar, taught by Tony Porcellini. Porcellini is the Director of Food and Beverage at the hotel. Since this was a Bordeaux wine blending course, he went over the five wines that we’d be using to blend our own wine, how to pair them and what type of wine glasses to serve them in.
Attendees were treated to four cheeses with accompaniments, including brie and goat’s cheese, freshly baked breads and a bottle of water. In addition to these and our wines, there was also a 10 ml wine blending tube that we’d be using later in the course.
The Wine Blending seminar include five wines to taste and use for blending – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. About the wines…
- Cabernet Sauvignon is a bitter wine. It’s parents are Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
- Merlot’s are sweet and smooth wines.
- Cabernet Franc is very dry and earthy. It’s great to pair with steak.
- Petit Verdot is a very dark red with high alcohol by volume percentage – 14-15%. It’s also spicy.
- Malbec has high tannins and very little is used in blendings.
So what did we learn? Well, when pairing food with your wines you want to think about it’s flavor profile. You don’t want to drink Cabernet Sauvignon with somthing that is bitter. It needs to be paired with something that’s opposite to bring out it’s flavor. If you are enjoying simple food, you’ll want a complex wine, and a simple wine with complex food.
I like my wine to be bold, so my blend ended up being 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 5% Malbec, and the other was equal parts of all five wines for a well-balanced blend.
The class was extremely informative about the wines, their flavor profiles and what pairs well with them. However, I do wish that there was more information on actually blending wines, and examples for how to blend based on what style of wines you like. There was less than ten minutes remaining to blend the wines before the causeway opened… I would like to see more time allotted for the blending in the future. Overall, it was a very educational class about the type of Bordeaux wines used to make red blends. If you’re a red wine drinker, it’s definitely something you’d enjoy and appreciate.
Please note, we did receive this dining experience complimentary of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. However, as with all of our reviews, that does not guarantee a positive review.