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All about red blend
What is a red blend wine?
A red wine blend contains grapes from several different cultivars. Once frowned upon, wine blending allows winemakers to create consistent wines even when the quality of grapes harvested varies. The primary focus is creating a wine with consistent body, nose and taste. Wine blending is a well-established practice in French and Italian vineyards and sanctioned by the strict winemaking laws in those countries. Because red blends may contain any combination of grape cultivars, there's no such thing as a particular type of blended red wine. Instead, discerning wine aficionados recognize propriety blends as being special and worthy of praise.
European red blends
The difficult growing conditions in the Bordeaux region of France mean wine harvests vary considerably from year to year. To counter this, winemakers make a Bordeaux blend comprising of six different grapes, including cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, and petit verdot. Similarly, Rhône wine uses a blend of Grenache and syrah grapes.
Chianti wine comes from the mountainous region between Florence and Sienna in Italy. This earthy wine contains at least 80 percent Sangiovese grapes. Another popular Italian red blend, Valpolicella wine, comes from a region in Northern Italy. These lively wines, made from a mixture of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes must, by law, contain at least 45 percent Corvina grapes.
American red blends
American dry red blends have become increasingly popular as winemakers have concentrated on producing smooth, well-balanced, drinkable blends. Common grape varietals included in American red blends include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit syrah, petit verdot, and malbec blended to produce wines with excellent nose, body and character. American meritage wine follows the French Bordeaux tradition, with the dominant grapes being either cabernet sauvignon or merlot.
Pairing red blends with food
With such a great variety to choose from, red blends pair well with most foods. The key to choosing the right blend is to find a wine with a similar flavor intensity as the food. Generally, red blends should have a higher acidity than the food, but also be slightly sweeter. These wines go well with red meats and other rich dishes. Shop Drizly for your favorite red blended wine. Click these handy links to search for Drizly in your city and look for liquor stores on Drizly near you.