My first attempt at blending an expensive red wine on a cruise was a waste of fine grapes. Fortunately for everyone in the room on Holland America Line’s new Koningsdam, we had started with tiny samples before venturing into the concocting process for an entire bottle.
After much give and take, with kind suggestions from the expert leading our class, my final batch was a smooth, dry red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, two different Merlots and a splash of Cabernet Franc, all from Chateau Ste. Michelle vineyards, Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate.
My private bottle, hand labeled Chateau Molyneaux Best Red Guess, was no $8 special from the low shelf at a corner drug store. The quality liquids might sell in a wine shop for $80-$90 a bottle, said the instructor. I carried it to dinner with great care and an appreciation for having a highly drinkable souvenir (wine class fee, $129).
Wine blending was a highlight of a cruise on the 2,650-passenger Koningsdam, which, after an inaugural summer season in Europe, is now cruising out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.