Wine, Food, And The Pursuit Of Happiness

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Is It OK To Love Blended Wines?

Blending in
Sometimes a question that comes up in wine class is just a question.

What's the difference between Pinot Noir and Cabernet?  Where is Rioja located in Spain?  What makes red wine red?  These sorts of fact-based or detail questions can be relatively easy to answer, or at least easy to look up in The Big Book Of Answers (also know as The Oxford Companion To Wine), which we do any time we need to.

Now and then, wine class questions can get a little more complicated.  Saturday night during Wine 101: How To Taste Wine And Why, the conversation turned to blended wines, and someone asked, "Is it OK to love blended wine?" and the question surprised me a little.  Embedded within this question is the idea that somehow it's not OK to love blended wine, so I asked: what's wrong with blended wine?

You do the math
I learned - in no uncertain terms - that the majority of these wine lovers, even at the beginning of their wine educations, had picked up the notion.that blended wines are cheaper, lower quality, just generally not as good as wines that are made from one grape.  Truth is, some of the planet's most famous, most expensive, most sought-after wines - Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and more - are blended wines, and have been for a long time.

The short answer is that it is OK - more than OK, really - to love blended wines.  Your taste is never wrong, and whatever wine you love, that's exactly what you're supposed to be doing.