Archive for October, 2012

07
Oct
12

Protected: A BRIEF HISTORY OF WINE

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07
Oct
12

THE ART OF BLENDING WINE

Although there are many wines comprised of a single varietal, blending is considered the most artistic aspect of making wine. Consumers are often misled when they choose a bottle with a particular varietal name. For example, a wine labeled Cabernet Sauvignon is often a blend of two or more grapes. Federal law in the U.S. requires 75 percent of the grape varietal can appear on the label.  Other countries and appellations within countries apply different regulations concerning the amount of a varietal in order for it to appear on the label.

Blending achieves several goals, like a painter who mixes colors to achieve subtle changes. Winemakers change different flavors and aromas to a wine by adding varietals that contribute aromas, acidity, fruitiness or strength. A vintner’s individual judgment plays a major role in enhancing a wine. It is the reason why two winemakers working in close proximity, or even at the same winery working with the same varietals arrive at completely personal formulas that contribute different qualities to wine. Adding one or more varietals to another can make a wine more accessible. Blending is one way to adjust the balance between sugars, acids and tannins. Merlot added to Cabernet Sauvignon tempers Cab’s harsher tannins. Flip the two and Cab pumps up Merlot. Sauvignon is often partnered with Semillion. In certain regions like Bordeaux winemakers’ recipes are classics. The region’s noteworthy style blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec in different proportions according to appellation rules and the winery’s house style. Blends also change from year to year depending on crop yields and quality of harvest.




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