17 January 2021

Blending wines for balance and quality

Last year, I made close to 50 litres of red wine in two batches using my semi-pulp method. The first batch was made with black cherries and the second with brambles (blackberries). It would have been nice to use a blend of fruits in the fermentation but not possible because cherries are a summer fruit and brambles come ripe in autumn. By Christmas time, both wines were coming along nicely. Both were 14% ABV, dry and clear. Both still young and fruity of course, especially the bramble.  

Now, here's the interesting thing- the cherry tasted and smelt like cherries and the bramble like brambles. Who'd have thunk it!? In each case, the fresh fruit completely dominated the supermarket grape juice, as you might expect. Also, the bramble was brasher, with more acid and tannin than the cherry. More than was good for it, if I'm honest. The obvious solution was to blend the wines together for further maturing. After a few experiments, I settled on a 60:40 cherry to bramble mix which is now sealed for maturing in several 5-litre bottles. 

Next Christmas, I'll offer it around in the hope that someone says- I'm getting hints of Black Forest gateau and maybe some fruits of the forest too. And steel, of course. Never forget the steel.

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