Blend - a Bozeman Winery

Serving fine foods with fine wines

If you’re looking for fine dining and excellent wine, look no further than Blend in downtown Bozeman. Owner Michael Ruhland, originally from Memphis and a self-taught chef, had worked in establishments such as The Yellowstone Club and the Rainbow Ranch for 20 years and it was those experiences which spurred him to bring some of that culture to the Bozeman area. “I gained the experience I needed in those positions, but the place wasn’t mine,” Michael said. “I wanted to pair my foods with my wine in my own place,” so Blend first opened their doors in July 2018. The Valo Cellar wines are made strictly with grapes from Washington and are processed in a customer crush facility in Walla Walla under the direction of winemaker Matias Kusulas. They’re then brought to the facility in Four Corners for bottling.

Valo, one of the wine styles featured at Blend, is also available at Ruhland’s new establishment in the Vancouver Waterfront Development. Valo wines focus on Bordeauuz and Rhone varieties as well as Burgundian style chardonnays and more recently, the Pinot Noirs using grapes from both sides of the Columbia Valley as a way to enjoy, compare, and contrast the strengths and differences of Washington and Oregon Pinots. Selections of these wines include the 2019 Valo Cellars Chardonnay, aged for 12 months in French Oak puncheons prior to bottling; the 2018 Valo Cellars Merlot featuring sagebrush and chocolate aromas with wild blackberry; and the 2018 Valo Cellars Malbec Syrah, a deeply colored wine with blackberry compote, chocolate cake and herbal undertones.

Massalto wines are also featured at Blend and the winery in Vancouver, including both the 2019 and 2020 Massalto “Sauvalanche” White Wine, the 2019 Massalto “Irreverent” Viognier, the 2020 Massalto “Extravaganza” Cinsault, the 2019 Massalto “Interstellar” Mourvedre, and the 2020 Massalto “The Point of No Return” Grenache.

“I want to bring some of the Washington brand of winery to Bozeman,” Michael said. “We have wine tasting at Blend, wine pairing dinners, and I would really like to see our wine club grow and evolve.” The wine club features new releases every quarter, usually offering white wines in the spring and summer and red wines during the fall and winter, and members get the very first taste. Membership is $120 per release and the dates are mid-March, mid-June, mid-September, and early December. Members can also skip any release without being charged.

Under the direction of new manager Rob Patterson, Blend is also working on offering larger wine pairing dinners with even more entrees to choose from. Currently, patrons can choose from selections such as a cheese and charcuterie board featuring 3 meats and 3 cheeses, smoked salmon dip, pulled pork sliders, herb Valencia almonds, and sweets such as spiced chocolate mousse and Amaltheia goat cheese panna cotta. Each selection can be paired with just the right selection of wine, and customers can also enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night featuring local artists. Ladies night is a regular at Blend as well, offering ½ off small plates and $5 glasses of tap wine and $20 bottles every Tuesday night.

While Blend does feature wine on tap, Michael says he is really trying to promote the wine growlers, a container designed to be filled, refilled, and covered for the purpose of off-premises consumption or secure transportation of the wine for later consumption. The modern glass growler was first introduced by Charlie and Ernie Otto of Otto Brothers Brewing Company in Wilson, Wyoming and, while mainly associated with beer, Michael believes the growlers are really the way to go for wine as well.

Lastly, if you are looking for the perfect venue for your private party, Blend will take care of everything from the details and logistics to all the food and wine. Catering is also offered for private dinner parties up to 40 people and wine and appetizer parties up to 70 people, featuring both cold and hot appetizers.

Located at 31 S Wilson in downtown Bozeman, Blend is open from 4 to 9 pm Monday through Thursday, 12 to 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and is closed on Sundays.

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