Discover what is blending and what are Champagne and Rhone Blends made of?
As a wine lover, you may have often heard of “wine blends”, but how much do you exactly know about them? Are you aware, for example, that we commonly drink wines that are the result of blends, even if this is not necessarily specified on the label?
This is a subject often given for granted, and I myself have always had many doubts about it.
For this reason we decided to shed a light on it and answer to some of the most frequent questions.
Why Blending wines?
First of all, let’s clear any doubt by stating that, in making a blend, there is nothing wrong.
In oenology, mixing grapes is a very common practice that has the purpose to balance grapes characteristics and obtain a more harmonious wine.
A grape that has good acidity but lacks in body can been blended with a fuller one, for example. But it is not only about the blending of grapes. Wines and musts of different vintages or vineyards can be blended to maintain constant quality and costs over time.
Blending can be considered an art and must be accompanied by expertise. The blend must be seen, in some ways, as a painting, a musical composition that seeks harmony in the nuances of the colors and in the concert of its notes. A syntax of perfumes and tastes coordinated by the experience and personal sensitivity of the winemaker.
What are the most famous blends?
Some of the most famous wines all over the world are the result of blends.
Wine Picker, an e-sommelier app, helps users to find the right food match for most the wine blends fitting their preferences and budget.
Let’s have a look at some of them in details…
A blend of two red grapes (Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier) and a white one (Chardonnay). While Pinot Noir has a strategic role in terms of body and Pinot Meunier brings roundness to the blend, Chardonnay gives Champagne the characteristic floral notes and elegance. When not “millesimé”, Champagne is also a blend of different vintages.
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre are the most important grapes in the bigger Chateauneuf du Pape blend made of 13 varieties, and this trio has now become internationally popular and has been replicated in many other countries where it is known as the GSM blend.
Something like 48 different grape varieties are allowed in the production of this fortified wine, although only 5 or 6 are actually used. Besides, Port wine is commonly resulting from the mixing of wines of different vintages and vineyards (with the exceptions of Late Bottled Vintage or Vintage Port). This particular technique allows brands to establish a specific wine style, that it’s recognizable by consumers, and to maintain a constant quality level.
But, that’s not all folks….watch out for our next post as we’ll put a spotlight on what is considered the most famous wine blend, the Bordeaux one.