WHY DO WINES GET BLENDED?

WHY DO WINES GET BLENDED?

Winemakers have the opportunity to create unique, amazing flavours by blending wines from different barrels, vineyard plots, and grape varieties. There is so much we can learn about modern blends by looking at classic regions that specialise in blending wine.

Creating blends
In ancient times, wine grapes used to be picked then vinified together all at once. This was called a field blend, and there are very few wines still made this way. Port is one of them. Over a few centuries, we learned that different varieties of grapes taste best when vinified or made into wine separately and then later blended together if desired. The time to blend is after the wine is stowed away in barrels.

It may be hard to smell the different wines over the intense yeast aromas so winemakers will need to rely on the taste and texture when they are mixing and creating a wine blend. It can take a very long time to master the art of blending, sometimes even a lifetime. Professional winemakers will use a combination of technical analysis and tasting. Some blends will have to go through 50 or more tries until it's just right. Blend recipes can only be used once. Each year, the weather will create a new set of conditions that change how the grapes ripen and how the wine is.

Popular wine blends
If you look at the blends available on the market today, you will notice a common theme of blends throughout popular wines. Cabernet is blended with Merlot, Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre or commonly referred to as GSM. The quintessential Australian red blend is none other than the perfect combination of Shiraz and Cabernet

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Traditionally, regions that produce wine developed wine blends over a long period. When it comes to climate, what usually grows together goes together. This is why grape varieties that adapt to the same climate are often blended. Here are some of the best, most famous wine blends:

Bordeaux Blend
The red blends from Bordeaux, France are made of grapes planted in those regions, which are typically red. The top variety for this region of blends includes Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.

Cabernet Sauvignon
With an oak-like finish and a sensual mid-palate texture, Cabernet Sauvignon is the herbal, full-bodied taste you are seeking. The taste profile boasts tannin and is described as big and long.

Merlot
This popular wine is very similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, but will have a slightly more cherry flavour to it and will taste more refined. Cabernet varieties usually give off a herbal nature, but the tannins offset that taste.

Cabernet Franc
This wine offers a leaner, more savoury, red fruit flavour. It goes on for just as long as Cabernet Sauvignon and is often blended with Merlot for that complex peppery flavour with a dynamic finish.

Malbec
This rich wine will bring a good whiff of that black fruit flavour. The finish will not be as long as Cabernet or Merlot, but it will be just as lush and just as smooth. This is a good blend to try if you are looking for something plummy, creamy, and fruity to suit your tastes.

Petit Verdot
If you see Petit Verdot in blends, you should expect more floral notes and tannin with great, opaque colour. Most regions will use this wine sparingly because of its robust features. This does not include Spain, Argentina, Washington State, and Australia.

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