Unspeakable things

Gather close, my friends. We speak in whispers of unspeakable things.

The refined, proper thing to do is to open a correctly cellared bottle of wine,
decant it for a decorously desirable length of time, languorously savor it while sharing scintillating conversation with vividly erudite people. Your parlor tonight, right?

Well, no. You’ve got neighbors in party moods in your family room. As the fun fades, you have four partially-finished bottles, two of which you never heard of before tonight. What do you do?

Consider the unspeakable: blend bottles.

Winemakers do this. Blends are the core of many wines. Bordeaux reds blend juice from up to seven different grapes. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the exquisite blend of grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, and maybe some others. If they can do it, why not you?

The spirit of this “what-the-heck” wine whim is not an attempt to match skilled vintners. The spirit of this is to have fun and maybe create unexpected wine wows.

Dregs of an austere Argentine malbec blended with remnants of a fruity cabernet franc?

Last of a domestic sparkling mixed with the last of a bottle of vinho verde?

A tight, tannic Texas cab with a loosey-goosey California value merlot? Why not, y’all dudes?

Why not? Who knows? By the time your gathering gets to these grab-bag blends, it is likely anything will taste good. Just the doing will help good times roll one more round before the walk home. Worth a try. Worst case, pour it down drain.

Tasting notes:

• Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2010. Dark fruits, black cherry, plum, chocolate, big oak; superb value. $9

• The Beach House 2012. South Africa 80% sauv blanc-20% semillon; lemongrass, tangerine, gooseberries, lilt of lemon, honeysuckle; fresh, bright. $10

• Mandolin Syrah 2009. Blackberry-blueberry, smoke; restrained tannin-oak-acidity; simple, easy drinking, red meat wine; good Calif value. $10

Last round: Win a bar bet—world’s highest wine consumption happens in the Vatican City State with 54.8 liters per capita (more than 73 bottles per person per year). Cause: population of 800 and lots of visitors going to lots of Masses.