Fusebox Blending – Joe’s Perspective

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amy_fuseboxA couple of weeks ago Amy talked about how Crushpad sent us their Fusebox blending kit. They sent it to 10 different wine bloggers as a competition to see who could produce the best wine blend and the best labels. For those who didn’t read that post, the Fusebox includes everything that you need to blend your own Bordeaux blend. It has beakers, pipettes, tasting sheets, instructions, recipes, tips, and of course, wine.

All of the wine is high quality, single varietals from Napa Valley.  The wines were 2 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1 each of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. They also included a bottle of their mystery wine.  The mystery wine is provided as a challenge to see if the taster can discern what grapes were used in the blend.

In the post that Amy did previously, she also bragged about her 3 wins in previous blending competitions. I have been unable to figure out what makes her so much better than I am at blending wine. After all, I have trained my palate for many years. I have the ability to taste a dish and the either recreate it or improve on it. Blending spices and flavors is second nature to me. It would seem to me that I should be a natural at wine blending as well.

The photos on the side are a series of shots that I took throughout the evening that capture Amy’s blending process. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to see something in the images that can help me understand how she does it. It must be something very subtle that I am missing. For reference purposes I have included a picture of me near the end of my blending process.

We had a great time during our blending session. Amy will be providing a lot more detail in a future post, and we will let you know if we have any success in the contest. We submitted 2 blends and 2 labels. In the meantime, I would really appreciate any insight that you can provide, based on these photos, into Amy’s success secrets. Especially if she beats me again.

This shows a little of my technique:

joe_fusebox1

  • http://twitter.com/WineHarlots Wine Harlots

    I think Amy's OCD is better suited to blending, no? I think I share your ethos of wine, but our brash and exuberant, damn-the-torpedoes, we-don't-need-no-stinking-rules attitude works better at tasting, then blending. Good luck!

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Houstonwino

      I hear you. I was once on a blending team with Dr Xeno. That was like having Keith Richards be Amy Winehouse's AA sponsor.

      We got complimented on how good it tasted right before they listed all of the reasons why we were disqualified. They ranged from not filling out our paperwork to submitting an insufficient quantity.

      I'm sure it a serious flaw in my character that makes me prouder of that than if we had won. :)

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Houstonwino

    I hear you. I was once on a blending team with Dr Xeno. That was like having Keith Richards be Amy Winehouse's AA sponsor.

    We got complimented on how good it tasted right before they listed all of the reasons why we were disqualified. They ranged from not filling out our paperwork to submitting an insufficient quantity.

    I'm sure it a serious flaw in my character that makes me prouder of that than if we had won. :)