A blended red or white wine uses more than one varietal during the winemaking process. One varietal will be the main anchor for the wine, and at least one other varietal will be added to tweak the ultimate outcome. By replacing up to 50% of a wine’s composition, it can make the resulting blended wine more complex and interesting as it pulls in characteristics from multiple varietals.
Blended wines don’t always get the best reputation, but if you know what you are looking for, they can provide you with out-of-this-world flavors, textures and aromas.
It Starts With the Grape
When we say “blended wine,” we mean wine that is made from different types of grapes or varietals. Most white or red wine we buy is composed of one type of grape, such as a Merlot or Chardonnay. Even if the grapes were grown in several areas, they are still the same varietal.
Remember that grapes add unique nuances and flavors to blended wine. By experimenting with multiple grapes, winemakers can construct blended red wine or white wine with tremendous complexity and incredibly satisfying characteristics.
Blending the Best of All Wines
The concept behind a blended wine is both scientific and aesthetic. For instance, if a certain red wine has one attribute, and another red wine has a complementary attribute, why not create a blend of the two? This blended red wine would share characteristics of each red wine and also forms its own attributes as a standalone product.
As you might guess, it takes more than just mixing two red wine grapes and hoping for the best. Vintners take the time to conceptualize which wines will blend best with one another. After all, some grapes are simply not meant to be blended. Other grapes may be blended, but must be used in smaller amounts to not overpower the rest of the blend.
Examples of Popular Red Wine Blends
Great examples of semi-dry popular red wine blends are those that start with Malbec. Malbec blends very well with varietals like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is a wine in the Bordeaux style. Blends that begin with Malbec are often known for being smooth-tasting, yet they retain plenty of features of the added varietals.
Perhaps you’ve also heard of Chianti. Did you know it’s not a varietal wine, but a blended wine? It’s definitely found on tables and in wine cellars across America, although many people don’t realize they are drinking more than one variety of grape in their glasses!
Other red wine blends include Red Bordeaux featuring a Merlot base, Super Tuscan, which also uses Merlot and the Spanish Rioja where Tempranillo makes the strongest mark. Most marketed red wine blends have a distinctive anchor wine, but their tastes vary widely thanks to the addition of complementary wines. The red wine blend names may not be familiar at first, but as you begin to explore the world of blended wines, you will start to notice them in stores and restaurants.
In the same vein, white wine blends use a base wine whose flavors are emphasized and buoyed by other white wine varietals. You’ve probably heard of a White Bordeaux, which features the flavors of Sauvignon Blanc and two other white wines. Chardonnay lovers often enjoy a glass of White Bourgogne, where the French dry wine is accompanied by about 20 percent Aligote. A White Rhone is a very complex blended white wine, comprising around six different white wine types.
Not Every Grape Gets to Be a Blended Wine
So you love Pinot Noir and are looking for a blend that uses this varietal? You’re likely to find out that it just doesn’t happen. Because the Pinot Noir grape takes a gentle touch and specific climate to thrive, most vintners who invest in blending shy away from the grape.
How to Pick White and Red Wine Blends
Blended wine names are often quirky and creative, but they may not tell you much about the wine itself. This is where a little research comes into play. In general, we suggest finding a blended wine from a wine region you prefer, such as California or Australia. Then, start investigating the flavors promised in the blended wine. You’ll likely discover some white and red blends that match your desired wine taste.
Remember that part of the fun of buying and consuming white and red wine blends is taking the plunge and trying something new once in a while! Browse our selection of wines online, and have a wine blend delivered right to your house. Marketview Liquor offers free shipping on 6 or more bottles of select wines, as well as mix and match case discounts on certain bottles so you can try several wines with your order! It’s exciting to make discoveries for yourself and your dining guests, so add red or white blends to the table tonight.