There's a sense of stuffiness that occasionally comes along with wine tasting, a feeling that you have to swirl properly and announce notes of raspberry, leather or citrus before you take your ceremonial first sip. But playing with your wine? That sounds like a lot more fun.
The Blending Lab, a new tasting room located near the Grove, is making wine tasting fun again with blending classes that let you experiment with your own concoctions. For up to two hours, curious imbibers will learn tasting techniques before blending their own wines from a selection of merlot, zinfandel and petite sirah, using beakers and tubes to mix and match before appeasing their own palate. Are you a bigger fan of merlot? Mix in 50 percent merlot, 40 percent zinfandel and 10 percent petite sirah and see what happens. Swap the last two varietals and you'll experience an entirely new blend. The world is your oyster.
The Blending Lab creates its own blends for sale, too, sourcing grapes from around California before making it offsite near its tasting room. They have a few single varietals as well—a 2013 zinfandel from Paso Robles, a 2012 Estrella sirah from Santa Barbara and more. And if you want to leave the wine making up to, well, the winemakers, the Blending Lab also operates as a regular tasting room, where you can try its blends and single varietals.
While it appears that the Blending Lab is taking a hiatus on classes for the holidays, check back here for upcoming events. In the meantime, you can stop by for plenty of sips before doing some drunk holiday shopping at the Grove.
The Blending Lab is located at 7948 W 3rd St, and is open Wed-Fri 5-9pm, Sat 2-10pm, Sun noon-7pm.
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