Blend - Wine Tasting Term

When a wine is a blend, it means they physically took two different types of wine and mixed them together in a tank or bottle. Say a Merlot is a blend of three years. This means that in 2002 they had grape juice, in 2003 they had grape juice and in 2004 they had grape juice. They took all of that grape juice from those different years and mixed them together in a large tank. Sort of like when you make a rum-and-coke cocktail you mix rum and coke together in a glass.

You can blend "matching grapes" or "different grapes". If you make a multi-vintage Merlot, you would blend together merlot from various years to achieve a certain taste. If you make a single-vintage Bordeaux blend, you would blend together Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from a single year to create a delicious blend of flavors.

Even wines that say they are "one thing" can sometimes be a blend. Legally, for example, if you made a Merlot wine in the US that was 95% merlot and 5% cabernet franc, you could still call it "merlot" on the front label. The rules for the amount you can add in before you have to state it on the label varies from location to location.

Some people think that White Zinfandel is a blend. It is not! This wine is made just using red Zinfandel grapes and nothing else. What they do is only leave the skins in the wine for a tiny amount of time while making white zinfandel. The color of a grape is all in its skin - the inside of the grape is white. That tiny amount of skin contact gives the wine a pink color and a gentle flavor.

It is extremely rare for a blend to include both white and red grapes. Usually blends are two or more reds to make a red blend, or two or more whites to make a white blend.

Blend of Red and White Grapes
Hybrid vs Cross vs Blend

Wine Glossary Main Listing
B Glossary Words

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.