Pacific Rim
January 20, 2022 | Pacific Rim

What Makes a Good Red Blend Wine?

To improve or alter the profile of a wine, wine manufacturers regularly combine more than one type of grapes to make good red blend wines. In addition to different grape varietals, the blending may involve mixing different vineyard plots of land or even different putting in the wine in different barrels. Obtaining good red wine blends is a form of art that requires experience, knowledge, and a refined sense of taste to know what works and what doesn’t. To master the art of blending good red blend wines can take many years of practice and often dozens of trial-and-error blends are required to achieve the desired taste, flavor, and aroma.  

Creating New Red Wine Blends

Over the decades, many good red wine blends have been created to meet the needs of wine consumers. Because of climate change, almost every year grapes acquire a different taste and flavor, and, consequently, new good red wine blends appear on the market all the time. Today, a great number of red wines are blends rather than pure wines.

In general, to make good red blend wines, grapes grown in the same region under the same climate make great blending partners. For example, Cabernet grown in France is best blended with other similar grapes in the region. Blending a Cabernet with grapes from South Africa or Australia may not produce the desired result or may even result in poor quality.

Popular Red Wine Blends

Several very popular wines that have been blended include Bordeaux, Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir, just to name a few.

In Europe, Bordeaux blends are from the Bordeaux region of France and include several top red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. If you are looking for a top-class French red blend wine, you will not go wrong with any one of these wines. They all have some type of fruity flavor and tend to have complex peppery flavors. Overall, they tend to be light and savory.

GSM is another top-quality blend also from southern France; The grenache Syrah Mourvedre blend is made from at least 19 grapes (including some white grapes) to make a highly flavorful wine. All these blended wines have black fruity and peppery flavors, along with a dark tinge. They are all bold and have a long, thick finish.

Besides America and France, other good red blend wines also come from the following countries:

Italy’s Tuscan blend has many variants, including Merlot, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Franc

Portugal‘s Douro Tinto blend features the Tempranillo and the Touriga Nacional, which are dark wines, acidic, and have complex savory flavors.

If you are looking for good red wine blends close to home, we'd love to hear your opinion on some of our blends! 

These good red wine blends have low acidity, are slightly on the sweeter side, have ample fruity flavors, and pair with many types of foods. To learn more about good red blend wines and what foods will pair nicely with them, contact Pacific Rim and Company at 1-503-863-5454.

Time Posted: Jan 20, 2022 at 6:23 AM Permalink to What Makes a Good Red Blend Wine? Permalink
Pacific Rim
January 19, 2022 | Pacific Rim

Is Drinking Wine Good For Athletes?

Athletes - both amateurs and professionals alike - have a few main desires: the first is to be able to perform at optimal levels, the second is to maintain a good, healthy physique, and the third is to have good exercise endurance. But aside from hard training, there are no other legitimate ways to enhance the body muscles and fitness. Luckily, researchers are now saying they have found a hidden benefit of a common pleasure– red wine testosterone. Besides drinking red wine for taste and enjoyment, the beverage also has health benefits, including the ability to boost exercise performance. Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of wine for athletes.

Good Exercise Endurance – Who Knew?

For decades, it has been observed that people who regularly drink wine in moderation have lower cholesterol and also experience better exercise endurance. Recent research has uncovered the reasons why. Red wine contains a host of natural substances, like polyphenols, that have health benefits, including the ability to boost exercise performance. Red wine also contains numerous potent antioxidants which may help prevent coronary artery disease that triggers heart attacks. Red wine itself isn't a full source for all of these, but it does contain some.


One of the polyphenols is the substance resveratrol, which has been extensively studied both in the laboratory and in athletes.  Resveratrol appears to work by increasing the energy production within muscle cells by stimulating the mitochondria, which is the part of the cell that produces energy in the human body. Unfortunately, the amount of resveratrol in red wine is small and at doses required to boost exercise performance, a person would have to drink nearly 400 glasses of red wine in 24 hours. That is nowhere near a realistic proposal - so what’s next with regard to wine for athletes?

Red Blend Wines

More research shows that red blends may also have other chemicals that occur naturally that can boost the production of testosterone. Testosterone is an anabolic hormone that can rapidly build muscle mass, increase red blood productivity, and improve exercise performance. What is this substance in red wine that can increase levels of testosterone? That compound is called quercetin. Quercetin prevents the breakdown of natural testosterone in the body and also reduces its excretion by the kidneys. Therefore, if you drink red wine, your levels of red wine testosterone will start to increase. Quercetin is also a good pain killer, and this will help ease your muscle aches and fatigue. You don’t get the full effects, however, unless you drink red wine semi-regularly. 

Is wine going to make you a better athlete? That’s a stretch. But when it comes to the best kinds of alcohol for athletes, wine is up there. Fitness experts say that to improve exercise performance, you should use common sense, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking, and drink in moderation. When it comes to wine for athletes, this holds true.

If you decide to drink red wine for its health benefits, adult males should drink no more than two glasses a day and females should limit themselves to one drink per day. If you’re looking to get into wine pairing, here are a few of our recommendations to start with: 

Time Posted: Jan 19, 2022 at 6:40 AM Permalink to Is Drinking Wine Good For Athletes? Permalink
Pacific Rim
January 13, 2022 | Pacific Rim

Best Red Blend Wine Pairings

In general, wines make food taste better and vice versa. But when it comes to a red blend wine pairing, many people get nervous because these wines have a wide range of flavors that encompass peppery, dry, bitter, fruity, earthy, and so on. Red blend wines also vary greatly in their acidity and alcohol content. As a general rule, the heavy red blend wine pairing is best with meat dishes, like steak or lamb, whereas the milder red blends are paired best with light foods, like pasta, mild curries, cheese, and crackers, etc.

Red Wine Pairing 101

Bold red blends tend to have a stronger taste, and so the food should also be bold.

If you are consuming heavy foods, select a bold red blend and vice versa.

If you are consuming a sweet red blend, avoid sweetened foods at the same time. The combined sweetness will most likely be too much. In general, the wine should be sweeter than the food. 

If you select a bitter or acidic wine, avoid similar foods. Bitter wines are ideally paired with fatty foods.

Heavy red blends tend to have a high alcohol concentration and, hence, it is important not to drink them on an empty stomach because you can quickly feel a little tipsy. Eat some food before the wine. 

If you were selecting an earthy red wine, like Pinot Noir, you'd pair it with foods like mushrooms, miso, or lentils (earthy foods).

But the most fun comes from trial and error. In some cases, you may have to try a few red blends to determine which foods they pair best with, and which suits your palate best.

Red blends can be tricky to dive right into since there are almost unlimited combinations when it comes to red blends. So, for starters, here are some baseline recommendations for red wine pairings so you know which blends would potentially be good to try with each food, depending on the blend:

Recommendations Include the Following:

Pinot Noir is a light red wine that is versatile and pairs with many foods, including salmon, glazed duck, barbecued chicken, or casserole. Try our 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR.

For steak, a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon will be ideal. You can even consume this wine with grilled lamb. Our recommendation is our 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON.

Merlot pairs best with beef dishes and pork.

Malbec will pair well with almost any meat dish, including pork, lamb, or steak.

So, if you find a red blend that seems to lean towards one of those staples or another, you'll know which direction to start in when it comes to pairings.

What Foods Should be Avoided with Red Blends?

Because the best red blend wine tends to have a moderate to heavy body, they should usually be avoided when eating light foods, like salads, seafood, puddings, artichokes, soups, rice, etc.

Even though wine experts offer an assortment of recommendations for red blend wine pairing, it is all a matter of personal preference and the decisions rest entirely in your hands. Not everyone has the same taste buds and not everyone likes the same type of food. If you want to learn more about red blend wine pairings and some of the best red blend wine around, call Pacific Rim and Company at 1-503-863-5454. Their knowledgeable staff can help answer any questions you may have.

Time Posted: Jan 13, 2022 at 6:13 AM Permalink to Best Red Blend Wine Pairings Permalink
Pacific Rim
January 7, 2022 | Pacific Rim

Best Valentine's Day Red Wine Pairings

Valentine’s Day is a special day for many couples, young and old alike. That day of the year when there is plenty of love and affection in the air. There is no better way to celebrate this day than having a nice dinner out or at home with a bottle of wine. To make the day even more memorable, you should also seek to pair the wine with the right foods. To make the wine and food pairing stand out, go beyond just basic wine decisions; meaning, go beyond just the basics of if it’s sweet, white, red, or bubbly. Take into account other wine characteristics, such as body, flavor, age, aroma, and alcohol level.

When there are so many delicious wines and food dishes to choose from, what are some of the best Valentine’s Day wine pairings for your romantic dinner?

Read below for tips to choose the best Valentine’s Day wine pairings for this romantic day.

Selecting the Right Valentine’s Day Wine

If you want to make your Valentine's Day wine pairings to be a hit, here are a few things to know:

  • Red blend wines go well with most heavy dishes, especially meats like lamb, steak, barbecued duck, glazed chicken, and spicy curries.
  • Serve white wine or a bubbly for lighter dishes, like poultry, chicken, or vegetarian dishes.
  • For most desserts, a bottle of red wine is recommended. Though, the wine should be less sweet than the dessert.

These Valentine’s Day wine pairings are not set in stone, but they can help guide you to a memorable experience.

Think About Your Partner

You can choose the best red wine to go with your steak, but what good is it if your partner does not like that red wine or has a preference for a glass of bubbly or white wine? If you are surprising your partner with a wine and dinner date, several good options will accommodate the taste buds of most people. These wines include:

  • A bubbly
  • A mild Riesling
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir

These four wines are very versatile and can be consumed with all types of food, including dessert. Both Champagne and Pinot Noir are the only wines that pair well with most foods, including vegetarian dishes. 

Here are some wine and food pairing recommendations for Valentine’s Day:

Steak: Select a bold red wine like 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Lamb or chicken will go well with a mild red blend like 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR

Pork or glazed duck goes great with a moderately bold wine, like 2018 HAHN HILL VINEYARD CHENIN BLANC

For seafood, select a mild red blend like 2018 SILVER TOTEM RED BLEND

Veggie dishes go with a sauvignon or a bubbly like 2018 VIN DE GLACIÈRE RIESLING

For desserts, select a red blend like 2015 THICK SKINNED RED MOUNTAIN or you can even go with a mild Riesling, like 2019 J RIESLING


Remember, Valentine’s Day is a busy day at most restaurants, and if you do not want to disappoint your date, make a reservation early and also ask if they have the wine you want. Better yet, if you are a good cook, make a romantic dinner at home and enjoy time spent together, sipping your favorite wines. If you have any questions or need help with a selection, feel free to call Pacific Rim and Company at 1-503-863-5454 and speak to one of the wine experts on staff. They are passionate about wine and will be happy to help you.

Time Posted: Jan 7, 2022 at 6:30 AM Permalink to Best Valentine's Day Red Wine Pairings Permalink
Pacific Rim
January 5, 2022 | Pacific Rim

12 Questions to Ask a Winemaker

Winemakers seem to have a low-key, secret, and somewhat mysterious lifestyle, creating and then hiding away all those delicious potions in barrels.  While they do produce a great beverage, most people have very little idea about the lives of winemakers. The general belief is that winemakers' work is only related to the collection of grapes and the process of fermentation. After a few weeks or months, the winemaker fills the wine bottles and sells them to the public.  That painting of a winemaker is not far off from reality, but winemakers do a lot more behind the scenes than meets the eye. Vineyards and the winemaking process itself have some aspects that you’ve probably never thought of. If you ever get a chance to sit down with a winemaker, here are a few wine questions you should ask to get a better idea of what he or she does.

Questions About Wine

How did you get started in the wine business? The wine business is not for everyone: most of the people who enter the business have had a long-standing family interest in the profession. Those in the second group enter this business because they simply love wine and want to learn to make it, and the third group is made up of those who love nature and like living in the countryside. They look at the wine business as a happy way for them to make a living.

Do you have to go to college specifically to learn about winemaking? For the most part, winemakers may have learned the trade while observing others, and very few have academic credentials in winemaking. Despite all the scientific talk, winemaking is an art that comes with experience. What is the art of winemaking?  That is one of several interesting wine questions to find answers to, and, almost certainly, with every winemaker you speak with, you will get different answers.

Is being a winemaker a difficult job? Winemaking may appear to be a luxury dream job, but it does require an enormous amount of labor and time. From growing the grapes, to the production of the wine, many things can go wrong, and one has to be attentive to issues all the time. The grapes have to be harvested at the right time, the blending has to be just perfect, the wines have to be stored correctly, and, finally, the beverage has to be marketed.

How often do wineries go bankrupt? Well, because winemaking is dependent on the quality of grapes, changes in the climate, along with natural disasters (e.g., flooding) can wreak havoc in the industry. Too hot or too cold weather can quickly destroy a lifetime's work in a matter of months. 

Are you constantly trying to make new wines? Most winemakers are creative people and love to make new blended beverages. They may try different types of blending techniques to make wines that the public will like.

Is winemaking a profitable business? In general, winemaking can be very profitable. The main reason is: restaurants. Thousands of restaurants offer wine on their menus. In addition, many wineries also sell their grapes to liquor stores, grocery stores, and local markets, which can also bring in a decent income.  It would be interesting to get each winemaker’s perspective on these questions about wine.

Can anyone get into the winemaking business? The answer is yes, but, there are some barriers to entry. The business does require a hefty investment. The startup may require anywhere from $1 million to $2 million for a small winery. It will take time to become profitable if you are starting from scratch. Most people invest in a winery business that is already operating.

What is the most critical time in the winemaking business? The harvesting of the grapes is the most crucial step. You have to have a good idea about the ripeness of the grapes, and this requires regular monitoring of their acidity, sugar, and tannin levels. Winemakers use these parameters to create different types of wine.

What exactly is a sommelier? Does a sommelier need to have a history of working at a vineyard?  A sommelier is a wine steward, also known as a professional who has good knowledge about wines and fine dining. The majority of sommeliers have formal training and obtain a certificate. They are usually knowledgeable about wine and food pairing, wine service, and storage of wines. They usually work for multiple restaurants, organize wine parties, train staff, and develop wine listings for each establishment.

Is it necessary to dress up when visiting a winery? No, you can generally wear what feels right to you, unless you are wine tasting at a formal event, of course.

How do I acquire good knowledge about wines? The best way to acquire knowledge about wines is not only to read about them, but to actually taste the different types. This will help you get to know the subtle differences between the various types of wines.

Can inexpensive wine taste good? Yes, absolutely.  Wine does not have to be expensive to be a good wine.

Some wines you might begin sampling include the following:






For answers to questions about wine and more wine questions, don’t hesitate to call Pacific Rim and Company at 1-503-863-5454 or visit them online.  The wine experts at Pacific Rim have a wealth of information they are happy to share.

Time Posted: Jan 5, 2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to 12 Questions to Ask a Winemaker Permalink


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