As a new member of the DeLille Cellars wine club, I am eager to take advantage of all the events and perks available to me. This week, that included a wine blending seminar after-hours at their Woodinville tasting room, which made it the perfect Seattle Eastside date night activity. I’m always looking to keep our date nights fresh and entertaining, and this was so much fun.
The evening started with an engaging talk from the winery staff about winemaking, blending techniques, and the importance of each wine in a blend, even if it’s just a few percent of the total mix. I already know a lot about wine, but I was humbled by my lack of knowledge around blends.
For instance, I learned that left-bank Bordeaux blends are cabernet sauvignon heavy, while right-bank Bordeaux blends are a majority merlot. This is due to what grows best in those particular areas.
I also learned that to really be able to taste a wine in a blend, it needs to make up at least 60% of the mix. Anything less and you won’t be able to pick it out.
We started by tasting each wine in front of us individually, to get a sense of what we liked. There were 2 cabernet sauvignons, 2 merlots, and 1 cabernet franc. Typical Bordeaux blends will also include petit verdot and malbec, which are not part of the DeLille repertoire.
With beakers and pipets at the ready, we let loose mixing whatever our hearts desired. I ended up making 5 different blends. 3 were actually pretty good, and 2 were duds.
I learned that I like cab-heavy blends, and by the end of the event, I could taste my husband’s concoction and ask “Did you put a lot of cab franc in this one?” and get it right. It really leveled-up my tasting abilities and it was a great way to bring a little more playfulness into wine.
This event was exclusive to wine club members, so if you are interested in events like these in the future, check out the DeLille Cellars wine club.
How do Wine Clubs Work?
A note about wine clubs…did you know they are free to join, and free to cancel? I have had so many friends express surprise about how little commitment a wine club is, compared to how many perks you receive (if you live locally).
The way a wine club works, you are committing to purchase a set amount of wine from the winery each year that you belong to the club. This is typically divided up into multiple shipments throughout the year, so you aren’t walking out with 12 bottles all at once. If you find a winery where you consistently like their wines, you live close enough to enjoy in-person tastings and events, and you drink a few bottles of wine a month, a wine club like DeLille Cellars may be a great option.
Wine club members usually get a discount off any purchases, including the bottles in the club allocations. I typically see 15% off, and many wineries offer free shipping or further discounts for large orders. Wine club members usually also get free tastings for themselves and a few friends, so it’s a fun way to surprise friends with the VIP treatment.