Talk Colorado Wine & Colorado's Wine Country: Understanding the Pros and Cons of Blended Wines

Monday, October 13, 2008

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Blended Wines

What to make of blended wines that use a variety of grapes? Weekly Toast writer Zev Rovine explains the subtleties in his column in the Salt Lake Tribune. Under the headline, "Blended Wine: Are Two Grapes Better Than One?" Rovine writes:

"In the world of varietal labeling, there are both deceptions as well as limitations that come into play.

"First let's consider the deceptions. These are certainly not meant to be malicious in any way but they simplify the marketing of a wine so that the consumer has an easier time finding what he or she wants.

"In the case of American wines, a wine with a grape variety listed on a label must be comprised of at least 75 percent of the grape stated. That means there is 25 percent wiggle room for other grapes to be added. In the case of cabernet sauvignon this is almost always the case and merlot is usually added to soften the stiff tannins of its cab counterpart.

"Most grapes alone lack the balance to create great wines, but when blended with other grapes a symbiotic relationship is created that makes some of the world's greatest wines. In the case of Bordeaux, the left bank is dominated by cab-based wines that use merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and petite verdot to create the desired color, ripeness and balance."

You can read the rest of the column here.

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