Blended wines are some of the most complex types of wine, typically made from two to four different types of grapes. Combining different grapes can enhance the aroma, color, texture, body and finish of the wine – and the blending possibilities are endless. Reds and whites can each be made into flavorful blends, and sometimes whites and reds are blended together – take Côte-Rôtie from France’s Rhone region, made with Syrah (a red grape) and Viognier (a white), as well as Champagne, made with a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
Wine blends are readily available in stores, but soon, you might be able to create your own custom blend. The Vinfusion is a new device that creates custom red wine blends based on your personal tastes.
You use an app to customize your perfect glass of wine: you can choose between light or full-bodied; soft or spicy; and sweet or dry. The Vinfusion system, which looks like a fancy keg, is stocked with four reservoirs of red wine: Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Merlot and Muscat. Once your perfect mix is ready to go, it’s blended and aerated before it flows into your wine glass.
Sajith Wimalaratne is the project lead for Vinfusion, which was developed by UK-based Cambridge Consultants. He said that the four wines currently being used in the system were selected for their diverse flavor profiles, and followed their research that these are the kinds of wines people normally drink.
“It was very important for us to use wines that fit the budget and the availability that our average consumers are likely to access,” Wimalaratne says. “The availability of wines will be very different in different geographic locations – as will the palate and budget of the average consumer – so it’s very likely that we will optimize our base wines for wherever we’re using the system.”
The Vinfusion costs around a thousand dollars to produce, so don’t expect to see it at Bed Bath & Beyond anytime soon. Realistically, you’d probably see a machine like this at a bar or restaurant, or in a high-end wine shop. Wimalaratne says that this application would help customers understand the wide range of flavor possibilities, and learn which ones they like best. “From the retailer’s point of view, [Vinfusion] can also provide tremendous insight into what wines people actually want to drink.”
Cambridge Consultants released a statement when the Vinfusion was completed, and said that they were inspired by growing trends of personalization and customization. They kept the language simple so non-sommelier, Barefoot Bubbly drinkers like myself don’t get too confused. My only question: When is the white wine version coming out?
Photo courtesy of Cambridge Consultants