Almost all wines are blends in one way or another. They may be a blend of different varieties, vineyards, barrels, or blocks of a single variety. Whatever the case may be, most wine connoisseurs have experienced the art of a wine blend. But what grapes make the best? Continue reading to find out!
What is a Wine Blend?
Grape wine blends make up the most complex and unique varieties. Compared to varietal wine, made from a single grape type, blended wines contain about 40% to 50% of a specific grape type. It is then mixed with two or more grapes to create a unique taste. Therefore, a wine blend comprises several grapes mixed to enhance its expression, color, aroma, body, and texture to achieve a distinctive flavor.
The Six Best
The two most common wine blends are red and white. However, the availability of several grapes for wine blends allows manufacturers to produce orange, sparkling, dessert, and rose wine blends. Here is a list of six of the best you should try out for an unmatched vino experience.
Champagne is a world-famous red wine blend with roots in France and the highland areas of Europe. Although many individuals do not know that champagne is a wine blend, it typically consists of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay grapes. Pinot Noir is responsible for champagne’s structure and powerful aroma, while Pinot Meunier grapes are intended for an intense bouquet. On the other hand, Chardonnay grapes are the hallmark of exquisite wine, thus used as a delicacy in the wine blend.
The Red Bordeaux wine is also a prized blend from the Bordeaux region in France. Red Bordeaux is created using Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in specified proportions, depending on the intended outcomes. Like many other varieties, Red Bordeaux ages gracefully to develop complex and robust flavors. However, most producers make it using more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon to create a softer blend that takes less time to mature.
Chianti is manufactured in the Chianti area of Tuscany in Italy. It comprises a large proportion of Sangiovese grapes (about 90%) combined with various local white or red grapes like Trebbiano and Canaiolo Nero. Chianti is distinguished by its bold fruity flavors and dark coffee or almonds. All in all, Chianti wine is recommended for spicy and highly seasoned dishes, including meat, pasta, or poultry.
Although white wine blends have changed and developed with time, one that has stood the test of time is White Bordeaux. The White Bordeaux hails from France and comprises a traditional combination of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, and Semillon. It is well known for its aging potential, revealing its sublime quality, rich taste, and honey, custard, and fruit flavors.
White Rioja is one of the most diverse white wine blends, with the most common being Malvasia and Viura. Malvasia is aromatic and fruity, while Viura is praised for its texture as it brings flesh to the wine. International varieties of White Rioja also contain Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. These blends enhance brightness, aging-ability, and freshness.
Côtes du Rhône
Our list would not have been complete without mentioning the highly acclaimed Côtes du Rhône. It is manufactured in the Rhône valley in France. Although the region produces several rose and white wine varieties, Côtes du Rhône is a consumer favorite because of its combination of Mourvedre, Grenache, and Syrah grapes for wine blends. Côtes du Rhône comes in various flavors, the most common being chocolate, plum, and spicy blends. Moreover, Côtes du Rhône can accompany most food, including salmon, pork, vegetables, and chicken.
Although only master sommeliers and a lucky few have tasted all of these, that’s where the beauty lies. Your first taste will be memorable and refreshing. So, next time you’re looking for an invigorating experience on your vino journey, try one of these blends and experience their unique value.