Grapes varieties in italics blend well with premium grapes. For
reds, blend no more than 15% of total. For whites up to 50%.
Alicante: A good blending grape. One of the few red
grape varieties that has red pulp as well as red skin. Makes intense,
dark purplish wines that may be rather neutral in flavour and low in
acid. Use it to add colour to short term wines.
Barbera: Deep purple grape that often has high acidity.
Especially good when young or when blended.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Great Cabs have bouquets with traces of
cassis, blackberry, cedar, butterscotch, green peppers, chocolate, coca,
leather. Deep, plummy richness.
Carignane: Good grapey, juicy fruit. Medium tannin.
Blend it with Grenache to make a red table wine.
Grenache: Cherry in the colour, aroma, and flavour. Can
make a wonderful rosť.
Lemberger: Deep rich flavours and colours with hints of
spiciness and earthiness.
Merlot: Produces supple and richly coloured wines with a
nutmeg spciness and plummy fruitiness. Blends well with Cabernet
Sauvignon and is ideal for early drinking.
Pinot Noir: An aroma of raspberries or strawberries: can be
full-bodies but is never heavy like Cab. An elegant grape tat takes a
lifetime to make well.
Petite Sirah: Not related to Syrah/Shiraz. Deep, dark colour
with jamminess and good acidity.
Ruby Cabernet: Deep-coloured and pleasant. Best enjoyed
Valdespenas: Light colour, low acid, rather neutral
flavour. Blends well with Greanache and Cabernet Sauvignon to make a
Spanish red. Best drunk young.
Zinfandel: Deep and red-purple colour. (can be high sugars),
Berry-like, jammy-intense, spicy characteristic.
White Grape Varieties
Chardonnay: Depending on how it is made. Chardonnay can have
flavours like rip apples, pineapples, mangoes, pears, peaches, melons,
vanilla, butter, or caramel. Can be blended with French Colombard,
French Colombard: Fresh lemony fruitiness that is best
enjoyed young. Its neutral flavour makes it good for blending.
Chenin Blanc: Appley-honeyed-floral scent, tart
acidity, and good body. Best enjoyed young and fresh.
Muscat: Light, characteristic aroma (musky) and flavour.
Muscat Cannelli: Similar to Johannisberg Riesling but more
intensive flavours and aroma with a hint of flowers. Makes excellent
Palomino: The grape of Sherry. Soft and rather neutral
Johannisberg Riesling: The soft yet strong nose of peaches,
apricots, lemons, and honey. Fresh and delicious young but can develop
beautifully with age.
Sauvignon Blanc: Aroma that is grassy, herbaceous, and citrus.
Crisp, bracing flavour of apples, lemons, and grapefruit.
Semillon: Soft, smooth flavour with some herbal
spiciness. A good grape to blend with Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
HOW TO BLEND
Some grape varieties improve when blended. Sample blends of wines
that are lacking in opposite qualities are made up in small measured
amounts and tasted before the bulk wines are blended. Do not bottle
blended wines immediately. Store them in bulk for at least 30 days so
they adjusted to each other. Sometimes blending will produce a haze that
will need to be cleared.
A good experiment in blending is to blend finished wines. This
produces a variety of wines for the cellar. For example: with 20 litres
Cabernet Sauvignon and 20 litres of Merlot bottle a case of each and
blend the remainder thus producing three red table wines. By changing
the proportions, even more blends can be made.
For more about grapes go to:
THE SUPER GIGANTIC WWW WINEGRAPE GLOSSARY