Winemakers frequently blend wines to add complexity and balance the flavor and aromas. Overall, different types of red wine blends are more frequently created compared to white wines. The time of blending depends on the wine producer and the desired result. Some winemakers blend red wines immediately after fermentation and others blend them 3-6 months after the harvest.
While red wine blends are usually cheaper, this does not mean that the quality is poor; in fact, a skilled winemaker can blend two inexpensive types of grapes and create a delicious and flavorful mixture. And, judging by the sales of red blended wines, a lot of consumers actually seem to prefer these drinks.
Today, red blends are readily available and fairly inexpensive. Overall, they tend to be juicy, sweet, and easy to drink.
Types of Red Wine Blends
Types of red wine blends are made globally, including in the USA, where California produces the most. However, some of the best are actually made in Washington State. Some of the types of red wines that are used to create red blends include the following:
Cabernet Sauvignon. It's one of the most popular reds. The wines produced in the USA tend to be fruitier and sweeter, whereas those from France tend to be herbal with a tinge of spice mixed with cherries. Cabernet is best paired with almost any meat including lamb, ribs, burger, and even steak.
Merlot is another very popular red and is an excellent starting wine for beginners. Unlike Cabernet, Merlot is a little delicate and fruitier. The wine is easy to drink and will leave a pleasant aftertaste. It is best paired with barbecued chicken, roasted duck, or quail.
Zinfandel is a semi-sweet wine that is also popular in the USA. The USA varieties tend to be juicy and have a mildly sweet taste, but the European variety can be bold and high in alcohol content. Zinfandel is best paired with Italian dishes, like pasta, pizza, and lasagna.
Pinot Noir is usually less sweet compared to many other red blends. It is a dry wine, light- to medium-bodied, and has complex flavors that include raspberry, cranberry, cherry, vanilla, and even baking spice. It is best paired with seafood, especially salmon or sushi.
Malbec is a deep red-purplish wine that tastes a little like Syrah. The reason why malbec is popular is that it is a medium-bodied wine with a tinge of sweetness and cherry flavor. It is the perfect wine when entertaining friends as it is enjoyable to drink. It is best paired with spicy foods like Thai, Mexican, or Indian dishes.
Syrah (France)/Shiraz (Australia) are full-bodied dark red wines with fruity flavors that range from blackberries to black olives. The first sip will be flavorful but will leave a bold spicy peppery aftertaste. This is the wine you drink while relaxing after a long day at work. To make the taste even better, pair it with a dish of charcuterie meats combined with soft cheese and crackers.
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied wine comparable to Merlot but tends to have a higher amount of alcohol. The wine has a distinct pepper-tobacco taste and will leave an aftertaste. This complex wine is best paired with Italian foods, like pasta, pizza, garlic bread, and, of course, Risotto.
So, the fun in making a red blend is in the design. Winemakers can get very creative, can play with almost unlimited possibilities, and can essentially design a new type of wine. Each red blend is a mixture and balance of some of the above red wines, and the taste can be crafted to make a different product every time.
For instance, in our 2018 Silver Totem Red Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec are fermented separately, allowing each grape to fully express itself. The wines are pressed and aged in a mix of stainless-steel tanks and barrels for three months, developing depth while maintaining the purity of fruit. Each cuvée is evaluated prior to making the final blend, then returned to tanks and barrels, with a dash of toasted oak for nuance. This additional aging brings the wine together in one harmonious voice.
To learn more about the types of red wine blends, contact the wine experts at Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454. If you join the mailing list, you can receive 10 percent off your order.
Now that the holiday season is in full swing, many people will be consuming their favorite wines. We were recently surprised to find out that some people believe that red blend wine alcohol content is lower than beer. Let's clear that up in case anyone doesn't tend to read the labels: Most wines contain at least twice as much, or more, alcohol than beer. It is important to know the alcohol content of wine. The amount of alcohol in any given bottle of wine is known as the “ABV” or alcohol by volume.
More Sugar = More Alcohol
The alcohol content of wine correlates directly to the amount of sugar that develops in the grapes; the higher the level of sugar, the more likely it is that the wine will have more alcohol. Just because there is more sugar in the grapes, however, does not mean that the wine will be sweeter. In all cases, the yeast consumes the sugar and converts it into alcohol during the fermentation process.
Region Where the Wine is Produced
Other factors that may affect the alcohol content of wine include the region where the grapes are grown. Determining influences include the soil, the process of fermentation, and the climate. For example, the longer the process of fermentation, the more sugar is converted into alcohol. Also, a red blend from the American Northwest is typically going to have a slightly higher alcohol content than a similar wine from France because of the warmer weather.
So how much alcohol is present in red blend wines?
The red blend wine alcohol content in a bottle can range from as little as 5.5 percent ABV to as much as 20 percent. Red blend wine with even a small amount of alcohol content will typically generate a sensation of heat at the back of your throat at the first sip. Wines with a high ABV will taste bolder, warmer, and be associated with a mild burning sensation. Today, almost all wines have labels that indicate the ABV content. In general, you should know the following:
- Low-alcohol red blend wines have an ABV under 12.5%
- Moderate-alcohol red blend wines have an ABV between 12.5%-14%
- High-alcohol red blend wines have an ABV of 14.5% or higher
- Low-alcohol red blend wines pair well with lighter foods, like charcuterie, appetizers, seafood, and soft cheese and crackers. These wines are ideal for an informal party at work or home. The 2018 SILVER TOTEM RED BLEND with its fruity flavors and pleasant aroma will do quite nicely during your holiday season social gatherings.
- Medium-alcohol red blend wines pair well with mild dishes, like pasta, white chicken, poultry, pork, salmon, and Mexican cuisine. You will not go wrong with the 2018 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR; it is a versatile wine that pairs well with many foods.
- High-alcohol red blend wines pair well with meaty dishes, like kebabs, lamb, roasted duck, barbecued chicken, short ribs, steak, and rich desserts, such as crème brûlée and chocolate cheesecake. The 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON is an excellent wine to pair with these foods.
For more information on red blend wine alcohol content and what the best wines are to serve your guests, call Pacific Rim and Company at 1-503-863-5454. Their staff is passionate and knowledgeable about all types of wines.
Red blend wines are very popular in North America among people of all ages. These wines are usually made from a combination of grapes to enhance the aroma and flavor. In general, red blend wine taste tends to be juicy and fruity (usually red or black fruits, like berries) but the sweetness may vary.
Does blending wine make it taste better?
Most red blend wines tend to be on the sweeter side, but some red blend wines are medium to full-bodied and tend to be less sweet. Here is a list of some common red wines, that are mixed to create red blends, and their tastes:
Chianti is one of the most well-known Italian red wines from Tuscany. It is a dry medium-bodied wine made from the Sangiovese grapes blended with other grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. Chianti does contain tannins and has a gentle cherry tart, red fruit, balsamic vinegar, and dried herbs flavor. Some people like to age Chianti wine, which has rich savory flavors that pair with most Italian foods.
Rioja is a red wine from Northeast Spain that contains 2/3rd Tempranillo grapes that are blended with Graciano, Marzullo, and Maturana Tinta grapes. The wine is somewhat sweet with low acidity and has flavors of plum, cherry, vanilla, and dill when young, but to experience the best of Rioja, older reds are recommended as they have tannins with medium sweetness with moderate oak flavors.
Lambrusco is a sweet dark purple Italian wine that should be served chilled for the best flavors. It is a bubbly and refreshing light wine. Because it is easy to drink, it is often the wine reserved for the holidays. Small sips will reveal the floral aroma with juicy red berry notes. Lambrusco is best paired with spicy charcuterie, salty cheese, and crackers.
Port is a sweet red wine that is usually fortified with a touch of brandy to give it a flavor of alcohol. This Portuguese wine is usually richer, sweeter, and higher in alcohol content than non-fortified wines. With the first sip, you will note the aromas of berries, anise, and smoke. Port wine is best paired with dried fruit, nuts, soft cheeses, and chocolates. Because of the high alcohol content, the potential to get intoxicated is high.
Pinot noir is a light-to-medium-bodied red wine with relatively low alcohol content compared to other red wines. The wine has pleasant fruity (cherry, raspberry) and earthy (mushroom) flavors, with the addition of vanilla. Pinot Noir is quite smooth and fun to drink. It is a versatile red wine that can be paired with many foods, like roasted chicken, duck, salmon, etc.
Merlot is a full-bodied deep velvety red. It is well known for its fruity flavors of cherries and chocolate. It is one of the easiest wines to start with and it also contains low sugars. Merlot goes best with fast foods, like pizza, burgers, and all types of pasta.
Zinfandel is a full-bodied red wine, packed with juicy, fruity flavors, like blackberries and strawberries. Aged Zinfandel can even have flavors of spices, like cinnamon and cloves. This bold wine is often quite sweet, but the red variety is often high in alcohol content. It is one of the few versatile wines that is consumed all year round. Being bold, it is best paired with spicy and hot dishes, like barbecue, Indian, and Mexican foods.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a darkish red wine that is probably the most consumed wine on the planet. It is blended with many grapes and the taste varies depending on the region. In general, Cabernet has flavors of tobacco, green pepper, black cherry, and even hints of vanilla and spice in the aged varieties. This dry wine is very mildly sweet and a great wine for beginners. It is best paired with meat dishes, like steak, lamb, ribs, and pork.
Malbec is a full-bodied deep purplish-red wine. Depending on where it is grown, it can have flavors of black cherry and a tinge of raspberry. It is a smooth dry wine and will leave a chocolatey taste on the tongue. It is ideal for people who want a non-sweet dry wine. It is best paired with Salmon, poultry, and, of course, dark meat.
Syrah (France)/Shiraz (Australia) is a potent fruity full-bodied wine with high tannins. It contains heavy fruity flavors that range from sweet blueberry to vinegar-tinged olives. It will give you a punch with the first sip and then leave a residual spicy peppery note on the tongue.
So, as an example: Red Bordeaux is a classical blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, though, in France, both Malbec and Petit Verdot are also used. Red Bordeaux has a lofty quality that combines flavors of chocolate, vanilla, spice, licorice, and black cherry. Red Bordeaux wines tend to be potent, concentrated, and on the dry side. In its youth, the wine tends to be soft but with age, it will be full of aromas. Red Burgundy is best paired with exotic cheese, crackers, charcuterie, and even dried fruit.
The best way to experience red blend wine taste is to try them – yes, each one! Explore and discover your favorites. Keep notes of which wines you prefer. Does blending wine make it taste better? Many people think so as blending brings a different level of complexity and texture to the wine.
The majority of red blend wines are flavorful, and you will be hard-pressed to find one that you do not like. The key is to start with the sweet wines and then move to the full-bodied wines. At the beginning of your experiments, sip the wine to acquire the flavors. Even though there are a lot of suggestions regarding food pairings, the ultimate decision is yours.
There is no rule that states that you are only supposed to have a certain food with a specific wine; it is all a matter of personal preference. To speak to a knowledgeable wine expert, talk to the staff at Pacific Rim & Company. Call them at 1-503-863-5454 today.
Obesity has surpassed smoking as public enemy number one. Today, close to 90 million American adults are overweight and another 70 million are obese. And, with this in mind, what red blend wine nutrition facts should we know? What are we looking at in terms of red blend calories per glass of wine?
Let’s Talk Calories
The first fact to appreciate is that all red blend wines have calories, and the number of red blend calories depends on the type (and amount, of course) of wine consumed. Both sugar and alcohol have calories. Each gram of sugar contains 4 calories. The amount of sugar in red blend wines varies from 1-15g.
Alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram. On average, a glass of red blend wine will have anywhere from 70-140 calories (110 is about the average). To put this into perspective, a can of coke contains about 140 calories. Therefore, if you drink three glasses of wine in a day, that amounts to approximately 330 calories (on average) or about 1/6th of your daily calorie needs.
What can you do to burn off 120 calories? Studies have shown that, based on a 140-pound person, walking for 32 minutes at 3 mph can burn 120 calories, as well as running at 6 mph for 12 minutes or bicycling for 17 minutes at 10 mph.
The American Heart Association recommends that an adult American male should drink no more than two glasses of wine per day and that women should have no more than one glass of wine per day. Many wine drinkers don’t try to keep count of how many glasses of wine they consume, and, during the holiday season, everyone typically drinks much more than one glass.
Do Red Blend Wines Have Health Benefits?
The answer is a resounding, Yes! There is ample evidence that red blend wines are rich in antioxidants that can scavenge free radicals and lower the risk of heart disease. The substance resveratrol found in red wine is known to lower “bad” cholesterol and raise the levels of “good” cholesterol. The key is to drink red blend wine in moderation to derive the health benefits. If you drink wine in excess, you run the risk of damaging your liver, which can be very serious.
Do Your Research
To drink red blend wine safely, do your research. Look for the content of sugar and alcohol in the wine. You preferably want a red blend wine with low residual sugar. Some dry wines have residual sugar levels of 1-2g per liter and sparkling wines can have 10-12 g/liter. Unfortunately, not all wine producers state the amount of residual sugar in their wine.
You should also look at the alcohol content of the wine, which is stated as ABV (alcohol by volume). You want to select a wine with an ABV of less than 11 percent. The higher the ABV, the greater the number of calories.
Avoiding High Sugar in Wines
If you are a diabetic and/or want to reduce your caloric intake, avoid sweet red wines; instead, opt for dry wines. In general, wines that cost less than $12 tend to have more sugar than those that cost more than $15. Winemakers tend to add sugar to make up for the lack of flavor in cheaper wines. There are a few exceptions, but, for the most part, avoid wines less than $10.
How To Choose Healthy Red Blends
In general, avoid red blend wines made in warmer parts of the country. The reason is that with warm weather, the grapes do tend to get riper, and that means more sugar, which, in turn, means more alcohol - neither of which is good in excess for health.
If you are overweight, a diabetic, and/or have liver problems, look into white wines, as they generally have lower alcohol content.
Red blend wine nutrition facts conclude that wine drinking is safe as long as you drink in moderation. In order to enjoy wine drinking and be healthy, watch the red blend calories and consider changing your lifestyle, if needed, to find a healthier you. This means, stop smoking; eat a healthy diet, and work on becoming more physically active. If you have any questions about red blend wines, the passionate wine experts at Pacific Rim & Company will be happy to help. Call them today at 1-503-863-5454.
Every holiday season, there is one beverage that outranks all others in terms of popularity. There’s nothing the celebrates like Champagne and this is especially true on New Year’s Eve. But while there is no question that millions of bottles of Champagne and other sparkling wines will be sold this holiday season, partiers can also consider other New Year’s Eve wines that can be served running up to 11:59 on New Year's Eve. If you will be hosting a party during the holiday season or attending a dinner party, here are some tips on the best wine for New Year’s Eve.
If you will be serving your guests not-so-traditional meats, like a wild duck, goose, elk, and more, the best New Year’s Eve wines to pair with game foods are listed below.
- 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON
- 2018 SILVER TOTEM CHARDONNAY
- 2015 THICK SKINNED RED MOUNTAIN
- 2018 HAHN HILL VINEYARD CHENIN BLANC
- 2018 SPRING CREEK VINEYARD GRÜNER VELTLINER
All these Pacific Rim wines are very affordable and will serve well at a wild game party.
If you will only be serving a light dinner or having friends over for coffee and cheesecake, nothing beats a dry Riesling wine for New Year’s Eve. To balance out the sweetness of the cheesecake, select one of the following Rieslings:
Love Something Sweet?
If you will be attending a New Year’s Eve party, consider bringing along a few bottles of both red and white wines, so that no one gets disappointed. As always, nothing beats an Ice wine Riesling to celebrate the New Year. Made from the finest grapes, this wine reigns supreme when it comes to taste and aroma. And it goes along with all types of snacks. Recommendations include the following wines, which are affordable and classy.
- 2020 PACIFIC RIM WICKED GOOD RED
- 2020 SWEET RIESLING
- 2012 SELENIUM VINEYARD NOBLE WINE
- 2016 HAHN HILL VINEYARD ICE WINE RIESLING
If you want to have another selection alongside a Riesling, you can never go wrong with a Pinot. Whether it be Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris, they both pair quite well with a variety of foods. Some classic Pinots that guests will appreciate include:
Love Red Wine?
If you or your guests want to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a good red wine, then consider the following:
- 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR
- 2020 PACIFIC RIM WICKED GOOD RED
- 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON
- 2015 THICK SKINNED RED MOUNTAIN
When celebrating New Year’s Eve with a top-notch wine, be sure to have appetizers that will pair well with the wines. Some foods you may want to consider include:
- Antipasto Bites
- Spinach Artichoke Zucchini Bites
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Spinach Spanakopita
- Cheesy Baked Meatballs
- Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
- Ginger Pork Potstickers
- Garlicky Shrimp Cocktail
For New Year’s Eve wine, always have some Champagne on ice. Champagne is the traditional drink to help send the old year on its way and usher in the new year. Have other wine for New Year’s Eve available, too, especially wines that pair well with the specific food dishes you will be serving. For more ideas and helpful hints, contact Pacific Rim & Company today at 1-503-863-5454.