Don’t like what you’re drinking and yet the wine’s not technically bad, or corked enough to return? Take a leap. Grab another bottle and blend them. See what happens. It might become the best or worst thing you’ve ever tasted, but at least you know it was your blend. Nothing can take that away from you.
It was the harsh, closed Chilean carmenére I drank one night that made me appreciate the power of blending. I remembered a half-emptied bottle of Santa Julia Viongier in the fridge, added a splash of it to the carmenére, and voila – I had a completely different wine with more aromatics and a softer texture. And, I didn’t have to waste that almost full bottle of carmenere.
Sure, blending white with red sounds kinda’ gross until you think of the august Hermitage wines of the northern Rhone Valley: syrah and viognier, baby. Power plus beauty is the way to go.
Why blend wine? Grapestompers offers a few reasons:
To improve color
To add or minimize flavors and tastes
To adjust the pH of a wine
To lower or raise acidity or alcohol levels
To adjust the sweetness of a wine
To correct a wine with too much oak flavor
To raise or lower levels of tannin
The great thing is, blending can be done anytime and almost anywhere – at home or in a restaurant – but it’s especially fun at a big dinner party, when there’s lots of wine to play around with.
Here are some famous blends to try:
Alsace: pinot gris, pinot blanc, riesling, gewürtztraminer, muscat
Red Bordeaux/Meritage: cab sauvignon, cab franc, merlot, petite verdot, carmenére
White Bordeaux/Meritage: sauvignon blanc, semillion, muscadelle
Champagne: chardonnay, pinot noir, petit menieur
Rhone: syrah, viognier, morvedre, granache, carignan
Rioja: tempranillo, garnacha
Super Tuscan: sangiovese, cab sauvignon, merlot
Zinfandel: zinfandel, petite syrah, carignan
What’s blendable for the big boys certainly works for us. But, these formulas are only starting points for wine blending. There is literally no end to what combinations can be blended at home.
So try it. Go nuts mixing things up, and tell me what you get. I love a good blend.