In simple terms, blending wine means mixing or combining two or more wines and coming up with something new. It is done for various reasons like
- To obtain better color
- To improve or enhance aroma
- To adjust the sweetness, the pH of the wine or the levels of tannin
- For the adjustment of the acidity level of alcohol
- To reduce the oak flavor and get wine flavor
Once the reason for mixing is known, there are few simple rules to be followed. Mainly the aim of blending has to be fixed. Combining can be done for fun or to get a new one which can be reproduced in larger quantities for commercial purposes. Tips to be followed while amalgamating them are simple.
- Wines of similar type are to be combined. For example, a red wine has to be combined with a red one and a white with white.
- Do not use bad wine to combine with a good wine to make it tolerable. The resultant would be disappointing and over and above the good wine would go waste.
- It is advisable to try with very little quantities so that the wastage is minimized. Until the desired result is obtained use wines in little quantities.
- It is better to blend wines made in the same year, which will allow some shelf life to it.
- While experimenting on various blends, it is good to keep notes to avoid repeating the combinations which are already tried and tested.
- One can take help of a friend to judge the resultant.
- One should take care to blend them in well lit rooms which are free of any other odor.
Combination of wines in fact has a scientific approach too. It is a very simple process which can be learnt easily. It is called Pearson square and by following the instructions one can easily get the desired blend. There is a set method to any kind of blending adjustment that has to be done.
It is better to blend wines before the aging process starts so that the two separate wines which were combined, age together. It is the right mixing which brings delicious taste to it.
As there are various reasons for combining there are also various types too.
Vintage wine blend is a type which is commonly used for champagne. It is made from different grapes grown on the same vintage or year. For a bottle of champagne to have a label of vintage it has to be made from grapes from the same year and vintage. Champagne made from different grapes or years is marked as “N.V” and cost less.
Bordeaux blend; it is the famous French wine where only certain varieties of grapes are to be used. If any other grapes are used the resulting wine can not be called as Bordeaux. As a practice use two to three of the approved varieties to make luscious variety.
Meritage is the kind of wine which is similar to Bordeaux but only wines made in Bordeaux can be called so. There are regulations to label a bottle as Meritage. The wineries should have acquired the approval of the Meritage association to use the name.
Red wine blends are found in vast numbers in the market. Of them, the most famous is the Super Tuscan which came into being in 1970s. Italy has very strict rule for wine making, which were broken by the maker of super Tuscan. They created the new wine from grapes of their own choice.
There are many aspects to wine making and later their mixing. Combining wines becomes easy once the aim for doing so is known. There are certain rules and tips to reach the desired goal. It also has a scientific approach to it which is as easy as additions and subtractions.