Winemakers not only have the opportunity to create delicious tasting wines from different grapes around the world, but the experienced ones can mix several together to make a unique blend that only lasts for so long. Today we’re going to learn all about the are of wine blending and which ones you should be on the lookout for.
How are Blends Created?
For centuries, expert winemakers have learned about the many variations of grapes, which are best made into wine separately and which can be blended later on. During ancient times, wine grapes were plucked and made into wine together to create a field blend. Port wines are one of the few wines out there that are still made using this method. Once the wine is stored away in tanks or barrels, the blending process begins. During this time, as the aroma is quite overpowering, winemakers depend on the taste and texture to create wind blends.
The Art Behind Blending
It takes multiple years to an entire lifetime before someone masters the art of wine blending. Winemakers will usually combine the uses of technical analysis and their taste buds. Some blends take as many as 50 tries before the recipe is deemed perfect. However, that specific recipe can only be used throughout one season, as the next year’s grapes will vary in ripeness due to new weather conditions. Unless grapes are grown in a perfectly controlled environment with no variations, it’s impossible to replicate the recipe perfectly as each year passes.
Famous Wine Blends that Work
There’s a common theme amongst wine blends in today’s market. Cabernet is typically blended with a Merlot, while Syrah is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre. It’s rare to find other blends, as they’d stray from both tradition and climate conditions. The grapes that grow together typically go best together, as they’ve adapted to the same climate conditions.
This category of wine usually refers to red blends from the Bordeaux region of France, as 95% of the grapes grown there are red. The top varieties of Bordeaux blends include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
Rooted in the Southern Rhȏne of France, most refer to this category as the Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre (GSM) blend. A total of around 19 grape varieties, including white grapes, are blended together to create this red wine.
As France isn’t the only player in the wine blending business, there are other regions creating interesting and unique blends. Using diverse vine varieties and unique climate conditions, there are many opportunities to develop different regional blends. Common blends include Italy’s Super Tuscan Blend, Greece’s Rapsani Blend, Washington’s CMS Blend, and Portugal’s Douro Tinto Blend.
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