Living The Maverick Wine Life

We hate to break anyone’s bubble, but wine is not sacred.  Not every bottle measures up to your expectations.  When that is the case, there is absolutely nothing wrong with tinkering with your wine.  “Blasphemy” you say?  Not so fast.  Nearly every winemaker on the planet adds a little of this and that to their wines to improve flavor.  You can do the very same thing at home.

David Wilson, your host of “The Wine is Talking” is blowing the minds of wine lovers and winemakers alike at his Grape Encounters Em•pour•ium. Wilson is formulating wine blends by the glass using single varietals from around the world.

“We like to focus on taking wines that are really good, and making them even better.  For instance, we’ll take a Bordeaux varietal from Chile, a Bordeaux varietal from Argentina, a Bordeaux from France and even the U.S. and create a classic Bordeaux blend, but from wines that are from multiple continents,” says Wilson. “People taste it and say, ‘Oh my gosh. That’s delicious!’ They say that because it is.”

The recipes, created by David, are top-secret. But, all are welcome to watch and listen to David as he goes about making his magic concoctions. With each order, like a mad scientist, he carefully measures the wines in graduated cylinders and chats with patrons about the wines as he respectfully crafts their one-of-a-kind blends.

And apparently, wine drinkers are ripe for something really out-of-the-box. Since Grape Encounters began offering up the mostly Bordeaux blend named “Bordelleaux,” A significant portion of the wines by the glass sold now are custom blends.

Co-owner Annie Wilson adds, “The winemakers who’ve come in here and tasted what we’re doing are universally supportive. We haven’t had one single person say it is blasphemy.”  For famed winemaker Adam Lazarre, it was love at first taste, “This is fantastic. You can use my wines in blends anytime you want!”

For nearly 10 years, David Wilson has been advocating for people to play with wine on his radio show, “The reason that we’re doing all this is because you can’t simply talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. It’s one thing to tell people to blend their wine but it’s quite another to actually do it and show people how much fun they can have.”

Vinthesis is the word and brand Wilson created to capture the idea of their mixed-winery formulas. The brand incorporates “vin” meaning wine and “synthesis” referring to the combining of often diverse conceptions to create a coherent whole.

Grape Encounters Em•pour•ium, 5816 Traffic Way, Atascadero, CA 93422, is a wine bar, wine accessories shop and headquarters for the nationally syndicated radio show “Grape Encounters Radio.” www.grapeencounters.com

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