When addressing potential beginnings for the blending of specific varietals to make better wine, it seems best to consider the tradition of blending in France that started decades and decades ago. For thought are:
- Bordeaux blending, utilizing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and occasionally Carmenere to create fine red wine. For white (or dessert-style) wine, a mix of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
- Rhône blending, with use of up to seventeen varietals to create favorite Chateauneuf de Pape; archetypal reliance on Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, or GSM; plus dependence on a good harvest of Marsanne and Roussanne to provide drinkable white wine.
Beyond lay other countries. Port is notable for including mixtures of native varietals like Touriga Nacionel, Tinta Francesca, Tinta Caõ, and others in Port Wine. Italian province Veneto can boast of Amarone, thanks to calculated portioning of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, and other vinified offerings.
Tonight, the spotlight fell on California, where crops of grapes inspire creation of blended wine. First sampled was Cryptic. Zinfandel-driven, the beverage’s surprisingly tannic edges were softened by Wood-Fired Fresh Mozzarella Pizza. Next poured was Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvee. Meant to sit aside duck or lamb, its fruit, depth, and spice made it friendly, drinkable, and accessible to anyone in search of fine, yet blended wine.