How to blend wine

The principle of blending wines is easy, taking one wine and stirring it with another wine, resulting in a wine that tastes like a mixture of the both of them. However this sounds easy, there’s much more to proper wine blending. If you are starting off blending wine following the basic principles explained in this article will get you on your way.
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In general the goal of home wine making is to improve their wines, combining wines and making wines better then they would normally be. The goal is to make one plus one count as three.

the 7 unwritten rules of blending wine

The rules are listed in order from important to less important.

  1. The wines that are best to be blended are wines of decent quality that may have a singe correctable defect. Blending is not going to cure a miserable wine.
  2. Set a targeted blending goal. Just wanting to make wine better in general is not a specific goal, go for something like improving a feature like its colour or acidity.
  3. Always blend wines in small amounts first. After mixing it is advised to do some blind tasting and preferably let someone else do the same so you won’t be distracted by the look of the wine. Try mixtures with more than 2 wines, you might find the golden combination.
  4. Blend wines that have a similar ‘character’. For example a Cabernet with a Merlot would do well and could be a great romance. On the other hand a Merlot with a Riesling is not likely to be a happy marriage.
  5. This rule may be the hardest to follow but: never swallow the wine, spit it out to keep your natural taste, the goal is to get the best blend, not to get drunk (yet). Click here to read more about wine tasting.
  6. When you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve found your master mixture wait a little while before taking action. Re-taste when being totally sober again and reconsider the choice, if the taste is still to your liking after the first and second sober sip then its time for the next step.
  7. It’s best to blend wines that are from the same year. Blending wines with different ages does generally not work very well.