March 15, 2010
Sandy & Monty Make Wine
Posted by Lisa Mantineo
Move over Lucy and Ethel! Yesterday, “Everyday Food” co-host Sandy Gluck and I took a shot at blending our own wine at Calistoga’s Bennett Lane Winery.
Under the guidance of Stefanie Longton, retail sales and wine club manager, we were able to create, bottle and cork our own special blends of wine. Check out the album below to see our adventures in wine blending and Bennett Lane’s beautiful vineyard.
1 On either side of the road leading to the winery, we were greeted by fields of mustard and grape vines.
2 We reached our destination!
3 National sales manager Keith Hargove showed us Bennett Lane's "Petting Vineyard" to see their different varietals.
4 After looking at the "Petting Vineyard," Keith took us into the barrel room where Sandy and I sampled wine straight from the barrels.
5 We then went out back, where Stefanie had set up a table for us to start our wine blending.
6 The weather was perfect and we felt like we were on the set of a movie.
7 The three wines we used for the blending session were Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
8 We were given a glass of wine each, a blending glass, a pencil and a straw-like dropper to measure out our wine.
9 Sandy started off by tasting each wine to get familiar with each individual taste.
10 Stefanie encouraged us to have fun and try as many different combinations as we wanted.
11 Sandy had a lot of fun dropping the wine into her blending glass.
12 Here I am sucking the wine to measure the exact amount I wanted.
13 We we finally settled on our wine choices. A delicious platter of pears, olives and cheese greeted us.
14 Stefanie then calculated the percentages we chose of each wine and poured them into this giant measuring tube.
15 She then handed that off to Sandy so she could pour her blend into her bottle.
16 Sandy then got to put her own cork in her bottle by pulling down on this crank. It made a wooshing sound when it was firmly inside.
17 The second to last step is putting the foil top over the cork, using this machine.
18 Then we got to put our special custom labels on.
19 Sandy's "Not Swill" and my "Magical Mash" wines.
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