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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Get Adventurous and Follow the Blend Trend!


Blending wines is nothing new, but these days, winemakers around the world are getting downright adventurous with their mixing and matching.


From classic combos like Cabernet Merlot to funky fusions like Vermentino meets Chenin Blanc, they're creating unique vinous concoctions to tantalise our tastebuds. And you know what? We're here for it!

The art of blending different grape varieties has been around for centuries - way back when folks probably just chucked whatever they had into the same barrel and called it a day. But nowadays, it's a finely tuned craft. It's all about combining complementary flavours and textures to craft a wine that's better than the sum of its parts. A little bit of this rich red, a little bit of that zippy white - the possibilities are endless when you start playing mix-and-match with different varietals.

Don't be fooled, though. Some of the most famous wines on the planet are actually blends masquerading as single varietals. Think you're sipping on a pure Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux? Think again, my friend! The great reds of that famous French region are top-notch blends. The same goes for those celebrated Super Tuscans from Italy—they bring together a whole gang of grape varieties. Even our beloved Aussie icon Penfolds Grange is a seamless blend of Shiraz and Cabernet from multiple regions. Who knew, right?

Heck, Champagne itself is a brilliant blend! Those iconic bubbles are created by harmonising two or more grape varieties, such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and the often underrated Pinot Meunier. Each adds its own flair to the fizzy party—it's like a grape variety supergroup taking the stage in your flute.

Closer to home, we Aussies love a good Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend—that zesty, herbaceous Savvy complemented by the richer, more rounded Semillon. It's a classic white blend ideal for cracking with some fresh seafood or your favourite Thai curry. But we're not just sticking to the classics anymore. Shiraz is the chameleon of the wine world, playing nicely with all sorts of funky blending partners.

Think about it - peppery Grenache? Heavenly match. Or how about savoury, earthy Sangiovese? Shiraz enriches that Italian charmer beautifully. Don't get me started on the magic that happens when you blend a white like Viognier into a about a flavour kaleidoscope! Suddenly you've got this rich, velvety red packed with exotic florals and stone fruits. It's like the vinous version of spiking the punch at an overly stuffy soiree.

Blending is, at the end of the day, like a culinary art form. Each variety brings its own unique flavours and quirks to the party. The winemaker's job is to conduct that crazy, vinous orchestra into something delicious. It's about achieving complexity through the perfect balance and interplay of fruit flavours, tannins, acid, and alcohol. When it all comes together seamlessly, that's vineyard magic right there.

Of course, the best blends don't just taste fabulous - they're brilliant food wines, too. Complex enough to handle bold proteins while still being approachable and food-friendly. A robust Cabernet blend is your best mate for a hearty steak or earthy mushroom dish. While an easy drinking Shiraz blend is going to play very nicely with your next backyard BBQ spread. Even the whites make great food partners - chill down that Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and pair it with all your summer salads and lighter bites.

So, next time you're perusing those wine labels, don't be afraid to go off the beaten path. An adventurous blended wine might just tickle your fancy in unexpected ways. Who knows, you might discover your new favourite flavour symphony hiding in that Cabernet Touriga or Vermentino Fiano! The world of wine blends is your delicious oyster - don't be shy about tucking in. Cheers!

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