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Blending Fruit/Grape wines

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Chris Meyer

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All~

We've been making wine for a couple of years. Our focus is mostly on fruit wines. We have a 5 gallon batch of cherry and another of Chocolate cherry ready for bottling.

The problem is, Cherry by itself is one of our least favorite wines. We gift most of it.

A couple of wineries have had blends such as Black Cab, which is a Cabernet mixed with a blackberry wine.

We thought it might be worth a try to blend the cherry with a red wine of some sort, either Merlot or Cabernet. Thoughts? Anyone done this? Not sure on what proportions will be and will taste as we go to determine, but any ball-park pointers are welcomed!
 

Brettanomyces

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Sounds like an experiment is in order. Buy a bottle of commercial Cab (or whatever, but Cab or some kind of Nebbiolo sounds great), pull a cup or so of cherry wine, and start mixing in different ratios. You know, in the name of science. Keep adjusting to see what your preferred ratio is, then you can make a grape wine and blend to your liking.
 

joeswine

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Have you read making a Fpac or Tweaking cheap wine kits on this forum, you should it would be helpful to know what what can go with what.
 

Chris Meyer

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Have you read making a Fpac or Tweaking cheap wine kits on this forum, you should it would be helpful to know what what can go with what.
I certainly have! Thank you for those write-ups, we use Fpacs in most of our wines now. Same concept, except I was thinking of using a shelf merlot or Cab as the "Fpac" instead of fruit :)
 

Chris Meyer

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Sounds like an experiment is in order. Buy a bottle of commercial Cab (or whatever, but Cab or some kind of Nebbiolo sounds great), pull a cup or so of cherry wine, and start mixing in different ratios. You know, in the name of science. Keep adjusting to see what your preferred ratio is, then you can make a grape wine and blend to your liking.
Always in the name of science! The problem is, doing "lots of science" gives me a headache the next day...maybe I'm doing it wrong!
 

mainshipfred

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Always in the name of science! The problem is, doing "lots of science" gives me a headache the next day...maybe I'm doing it wrong!
If my understanding is correct your headache comes from drinking too much wine. I had the same problem when I first started blending. The truth of the matter, at least for me, is you really don't have to drink very much in order get an idea of the right blend. Maybe once you get a little closer to the right one a larger taste may in order. The ones that don't make it go into a topping off bottle.
 

Chris Meyer

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If my understanding is correct your headache comes from drinking too much wine. I had the same problem when I first started blending. The truth of the matter, at least for me, is you really don't have to drink very much in order get an idea of the right blend. Maybe once you get a little closer to the right one a larger taste may in order. The ones that don't make it go into a topping off bottle.
So that's the problem! :)
 

joeswine

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You need to do ever item new to each other, that's how partnerships in wines begin, got it ?
 

JustJoe

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I make a cherry wine but I use half cherries and half elderberries in the must and I oak it and ferment it dry. It makes a great wine, one of our favorites.
 

FTC Wines

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We blend fruit wines with grape wines all the time. Have 50 L of Blackberry/Blueberry/Cab in a barrel. Also a BlackBerry/Elderberry/Cab. A Elderberry/Cab etc etc. Did a Cherry/Cab way back when, it was great! So go for it, these are some of our fav wines. Our friends love these blends too ! Roy
 

Fencepost

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Can you recommend a blend starting point? Fruit to Grape...50/50, 75/25 or 25/75? Planning to blend blackberry with cab or malbec. What is your favorite? Thanks.
 

cmason1957

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Can you recommend a blend starting point? Fruit to Grape...50/50, 75/25 or 25/75? Planning to blend blackberry with cab or malbec. What is your favorite? Thanks.
When in doubt about blending, particularly with just two blending wines, the three you listed are the traditional starting points. Then decide which you like best Cab Heavy or Blackberry Heavy. Let's say you decide Cab Heavy is best, then go with these ratios 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, and 60/40, pick the one you like best and repeat. Then make up a bottle of what you think you liked best or maybe of the two you liked best, let sit for a week or so and then decide if it is still your favorite.

Also, don't forget that maybe a little bit of sweetening might help both some. So throw that in there as well.
 

FTC Wines

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Fence post , our fav blend is 25 Blackberry to 75 Cab. But do the trials cmason outlined to see/taste for yourself. We don’t usually back sweeten the blend, but we do backsweeten the fruit wines before we blend into the Cab. Roy
 

Fencepost

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Thanks, guys. Did the taste test... and for me (and the missus) the 50-50 was best. This was with a Danger Daves Blackberry (semi-sweetened) and a Malbec. The blend was better than either of the individual wines. Will be bottling this soon. Again, thanks for the help and guidance. This forum is awesome.
 

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