Blending Wines?

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Sep 25, 2008
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I was thinking of blending some of my merlot with some of my grenache. I was wondering when do you blend it? Do you blend them and put it back in a carboy to age or do you blend at bottling. Or do you blend them before you add in yeast for the primary?

I want to blend a total of 3 or 4 gallon


There are two methods of mixing multiple varieties.

1. Co-fermentation. Just as it sounds, grapes (juices?) are fermented together. This is not common in the commercial world, but is practiced for certain combinations, eg Syrah-Viognier in the Cote-de-Rotie. It is the method of kit makers though. The juices are blended by the manufacturer and then fermented by the home winemaker (or FoP or whatever).

2. Blending. This is the mixing of finished wines. I believe that it is the usual method of most wineries. It allows the winemaker to do bench trials and taste tests to determine the best combination this year. IE in 2008, 78-22 might be the best blend. In 2009, it might be 75-25 or 80-20. Anybody can try this. I would say that you could do it post fermentation and then age the blend or do it prior to bottling. It would seem to be best to do closer to bottling because then your trials involve something close to finished wines. I don't know when the wineries do it.

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a blending wine tasting party would be a great way to experiment!
Blending 2 stabilized wines is always your best bet. After your taste test, then bottle. If you end up back-sweetening the blend, then carboy it for 10 days just to make sure the s/g doesn't change.