March 23, 2009
On a gloomy Sunday afternoon, our day was brightened when we attended a class at Novelty Hill/Januik Winery in Woodinville Wine Country where we blended and bottled our own wine!
Mike Januik, former head winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, led the class. He said he prefers to blend as a team, not only because it’s more fun, but because he can blame others if the blend isn’t good.
Then he set us off on our own to taste through five red wines–Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon, Stillwater Creek Merlot, Stillwater Creek Malbec, Weinbau Cabernet Franc, and Alder Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon–in order to come up with the perfect blend. He reassured us that with such wonderful base wines, we couldn’t go too wrong (whew!).
The paper tablecloths quickly became spotted with wine; our pipettes were put to good use; and finally we all had our own perfect blends.
Januik and company even bottled our wines for us, as shown above. Only caveat was to let the wines rest upright (not laying down as you normally store wine) for a week or two; otherwise, the corks might slip out.
After a busy afternoon of blending wine in the cool, drafty barrel room, we were ready for some warm, solid food upstairs in the winery’s lovely tasting room/cafe. A Mushroom Pizza, hot from the wood-fired oven and perfumed with fresh orange zest, along with a glass of Mike Januik’s stellar Syrah, filled the bill.