Rodney Strong Wine Blending Event

wine blending winners Synergy

Team Synergy took top honors last week when bloggers became winemakers and competed for bragging rights to the best Meritage blend as VineSleuth and Rodney Strong Vineyards hosted #WineTime at the Hotel Zaza in Dallas.

Team Petite Hashtag took second place and shared this response on Instagram:
wine blending petit hashtag
The competition was fierce with tweets circulating like these:


There were some less competitive ones, too like this one:

For those bloggers in town for Blissdom (a blogging conference that began the next day at the Gaylord Texan), the event started on the shuttle bus with J Cuvée 20 Brut NV bubbles from Sonoma County.

At the Hotel Zaza in uptown Dallas, they met with the local bloggers and faced a room of tables covered in what looked like laboratory gear: pipettes, graduated cylinders, lots of glassware, and, of course bottles of single variety wines for blending.

Here’s what one blogger had to say:


Robert Larsen, Rodney Strong’s Marketing director, shared a bit about the winery’s vineyards and other things that make Rodney Strong’s wines distinctive, and then guided the bloggers through a tasting of each of the varieties they might consider using in their blends.

Next Justin Seidenfeld, winemaker for Rodney Strong, shared how the blends are determined for Rodney Strong’s Meritage blend, Symmetry. He also shared a bit about winemaking in general and how the Rodney Strong team makes the decisions to grow, harvest and blend their acclaimed wines.

After that, the bloggers were instructed to determine a team name and then get to work creating their own blends, tasting as they needed along the way. Justin determined the winner and then, after sashes were passed out and photos taken, the group moved on to the Dragon’s Den at the Zaza to enjoy more Rodney Strong wines and light bites.

The Teams

Cork Dorks

Krista Gray-Donald (Life in the Hutch),  Melanie Ofenloch (, Jana Seitzer (Merlot Mommy), Krista House  (The Tech Mom), and Anna Epp (Life is Good…At the Beach).

Wine blending Cork Dorks

Winey Witches

Betsy Mitchell (The Dallas Socials), Molly Thornberg (Digital Mom Blog), Autumn Reo (Mama Challenge), JJ Gross, and Holly Bator


Petite Hashtag

Diane Eyles, Trista Perot (, Holly Homer (June Cleaver Nirvana), Lea Ann Stundins (Mommy’s Wish List), and Amy Locurto (Living Locurto).



Jason Walker, Sara Dunham, and Nina Semaun from and Toni Anderson of the Happy Housewife


 Team Synergy’s Winning Blend

50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Malbec

Thanks, Robert, Justin, Kristin Hamlin and Rodney Strong Vineyards, for partnering with VineSleuth on this event! And thanks to all the bloggers who joined us.  We had a blast learning, blending, toasting, tasting and just hanging out with all of you!


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