Winemaking has a certain mystique in the minds of many wine drinkers, but some Rooftop Reds customers are about to get a behind-the-scenes look at how it all works - and make their mark on the vineyard’s signature 2016 white blend while they’re at it.
Rooftop Reds will host a wine blending workshop on February 25, with winemaker Mike Countryman of Point of the Bluff Vineyards, Rooftop Reds’ parent company. Ticketed guests will taste samples of three wine varietals, Chardonnay, Traminette and Riesling, and practice blending the wines for taste. Ultimately, the attendees’ blends and feedback will help determine the ratio for the commercial release of the 2016 vintage white blend.
“It’s kind of special to try wines before they’re commercially ready,” Rooftop Reds CEO Devin Shomaker said. “It’s a really intimate window into what we do, what our trade is.”
While a lot of commercial blending, for varietals, is done to ensure consistency from year to year, the type of blending being done at this event is a little more individual, a little more creative, according to Countryman.
“We’re going to get out there and have fun and play with some wines right out of the tank, and learn a little bit of what’s behind the art of blending wines,” Countryman said.
You don’t need a high level of wine fluency to experiment with blending wines, according to Countryman and Shomaker, and the event is geared to all wine drinkers, from beginners to expert tasters. Even the most knowledgeable wine connoisseurs can learn something from an event like this, Shomaker said, because no one has ever tried these particular wines in any combination.
“I think events like this really are for everyone, because it comes down to the wines themselves, the blend itself,” Shomaker said. “Everybody is going to learn something, whether you’re a high level Somm or just a casual wine lover, because it is based around a unique experience.”
Guests will get a little bit of tasting education as part of the event, but Countryman plans to dive right in and get attendees thinking about the way different aspects of the wines work together or against each other.
“One wine may actually overpower another, or one wine might be a little higher in acid and the other a little lower, so when they blend together they actually soften each other up and marry together well,” Countryman said. “They’ll be able to see the art behind the winemaking, and get a feel for the way we taste them, the way we blend percentages together to actually make a better blended wine than the individual wines on their own.”
Guests will receive some guidance on the general direction that Rooftop Reds is thinking about for its 2016 blend, but will be allowed to experiment in groups and come up with their own percentage blends. After a taste testing and discussion, in which everyone will participate, Countryman and Shomaker will use the feedback from the initial influencers in the group to decide on the exact final blend.
While the blending event is limited to two sessions of sixteen people, wine fans will have plenty of other opportunities to learn about wine at Rooftop Reds' Brooklyn location, Shoemaker said. The vineyard is committed to educating consumers about wine and winemaking, and plans to offer a full calendar of learning events in 2017.
The 2016 White Blend vintage will be on shelves at Rooftop Reds by late summer, so attendees won’t have to wait long before they can grab a bottle and share their creation with their friends & family.
Purchase your tickets here! There are only a few spots left!