1000 Stories Wines
This post is sponsored in collaboration with 1000 Stories Wines. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
An innovative winemaking method that harkens to “the way things were” further proves my personal mantra that there is nothing that bourbon doesn’t make better.
After digging into the story of winemaker Bob Blue (and of course, sampling the product a few times), I was thrilled to partner up with 1000 Stories. I am their target market, after all; a bourbon drinker looking for an accessible, unpretentious wine that delivers a complex experience at a reasonable price point. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t call this entry level as experienced wine drinkers should find their offerings equally enjoyable.
So why bourbon-barrel aging? Isn’t that sacrilege in the world of winemaking? It appears that necessity may have been the mother of invention in this case. Bob explains that years ago, when he was just starting out as a winemaker, wine barrels were not widely available. As a result he started to look elsewhere, considering American oak barrels which were used for whiskey. He purchased (and neutralized) used bourbon barrels to make his wine. As American and French oak wine barrels became commonplace, so aging in used bourbon barrels became a “nod to the way things were.”
Now, instead of neutralizing the unique nuances of the bourbon barrels, 1000 Stories’ use them to enhance the complexity of the wine, just as those nuances enhance certain qualities in your favorite bourbon-barrel aged beer or cocktail.
Does it taste like bourbon?
In a word, no. Not like your typical bourbon barrel aged stout does. Rather, aging in bourbon barrels imparts characteristics of charred vanilla and dried herbs to the wine’s profile. The flavors imparted are much more nuanced and subtle in this method.
1000 Stories begins its aging like most Zinfandels: in wine barrels. Then, the tradition transitions to innovation. Bob selects a combination of new and used bourbon barrels from some of America’s finest distilleries to complete the aging process.
Much like craft spirits and beer made in small lots, each batch is crafted individually and is unique in its final profile. This small-lot approach, together with insightful sourcing and careful management in the cellar, elicits the polished character, layered flavors and elegantly bold nature 1000 Stories has become known for.
There is even a “Batch Finder” feature on their website where you can type in your specific batch number and get the unique details of said batch! (My batch number was 030)
While their flagship wines are the Zinfandels, they also have several other offerings including a Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and a red blend. I look forward to trying these and reporting back. If the Zinfandel I had is any indication, they stand to be excellent.
Cheers to the innovators!