Red Blend Wine 101: Profile, Regions & Food Pairings

Red wine blends are an increasingly popular drink. Yet many may not be aware of the intricacies and details around this unique type of wine. Fret not – we can provide you with all the facts you need to precisely understand what red blend wine is!

What is a Red Blend Wine?

Diversifying crops is vital to guarding against risk for any thriving farming operation. That said, grape growing is no different. In the vineyard, various factors can affect yields.

It can include frostbites, pests, and even rainfall patterns. By cultivating multiple types in your field or vineyard, you are safeguarding yourself from potential losses due to these external influences.

Often, growers undergo a notable setback due to losing one variety. However, they can still salvage their harvest through three or more other types. The result? A robust and flavorful red blend wine!


A red wine blend can be composed of virtually any mix of grapes. For example, most famous classic mixture includes:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Malbec
  • Petite Verdot
  • Carmenere
  • Syrah
  • Zinfandel

The Art of Red Wine Blending


Red blend wine mixes two or more grape varieties, ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot and Zinfandel. Blending these varietals creates a unique flavor profile that can be tailored to any liking. With the selection of red wines, endless medleys make for sensational vintages.

By blending grape varietals, winemakers can create complex flavor mixes. Take, for example, the pairing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

One can obtain the tannic structure from the Cabernet, and Merlot’s presence in the blend brings subtle fruitiness. This blending process truly allows unique wines with complex flavor profiles.

What Makes Red Blends Special?

Devoted wine fans, far and wide, have been attracted to red blend wines in recent years. It provides an exciting new option in contrast to regular single-varietal offerings.

To discern it from other wines, these blends are usually sold under their own labels rather than by the grape varietals used to make them.

For centuries, winemakers have crafted blends to balance alcohol levels, acidity, and tannins. This traditional practice allows red varietals to develop more complex flavor profiles.

Blended wines are favored by many for their even flavor profile, making them a suitable choice. They are also easier to get into because blends have a more subtle flavor. Red blends are also cheaper to make and buy.

It is worth noting that blending can be much more complex than using more grape variety. Blending the drink can combine diverse facets and flavors from various grape varieties and create a terrific product.

Popular Red Blend Wine Regions


Region Grape Wine Varietals Red Wine Blend
Bordeaux, France Cabernet Sauvignon

Merlot, and Cabernet Franc

Bordeaux Blend
Rhône Valley, France Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre Rhône Blend

GSM Blend


Tuscany, Italy Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Super Tuscan
Napa Valley, California Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot Meritage
Paso Robles, California Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah Zinfandel Blend
Mendoza, Argentina Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Blend
Douro Valley, Portugal Touriga Nacional, and Tinta Roriz Niepoort Batuta Red
  1. Bordeaux, France: Bordeaux is famous for creating some of the world’s most celebrated and sought-after red blended wines. The popular Bordeaux blends are crafted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes to create a unique flavor profile that has been appreciated by wine fans from all around the globe.
  2. Rhône Valley, France: The acclaimed Rhône Valley, renowned for its red blends, produces one of the world’s most iconic wines. This unique beverage is crafted with the classic Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes combination.
  3. Tuscany, Italy: Tuscany’s prestige for producing exquisite red blends such as Super Tuscan is well deserved. These wines are a delectable blend of Sangiovese plus global grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
  4. Napa Valley, California: Napa Valley is noted for crafting superior red blends made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other prestigious Bordeaux varietals. It’s among the biggest producers outside of Europe.
  5. Paso Robles, California: Paso Robles is a beautiful region in California that produces outstanding red blends comprised mainly of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.
  6. Mendoza, Argentina: The Mendoza region of Argentina is renowned for its captivating red blends, crafted from Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon and other enchanting grape varieties.
  7. Douro Valley, Portugal: Portugal’s Douro Valley is renowned for creating robust and full-bodied reds crafted from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and other indigenous grapes.

Common Types of Red Blends


Type of Red Blend Grape Wine Used Flavor Notes Texture
Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc · Fruity

· Plum

· Cherry

· Full-bodied

· Acidic

Rhône Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre · Berries

· Cherries

· Earthy

· Medium-bodied to Full-bodied

· Tannin

Super Tuscan Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot · Leather

· Tobacco

· Blackberry

· Full-bodied

· Tannin

Meritage Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc · Dark Fruit

· Earthy Note


· Medium-bodied to Full-bodied
GSM Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre · Fruity

· Herb Notes

· Medium-bodied to Full-bodied
Zinfandel Zinfandel, Syrah, Syrah, or Cabernet Sauvignon · Pepper

· Dark Fruit

· Light-bodied to Medium-Bodied

· Acidic

Malbec Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot · Fruity

· Herb Notes

· Medium-bodied to Full-bodied
  1. Bordeaux blend: This exquisite vintage red wine from the renowned Bordeaux region of France is a balanced cross of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes. The Bordeaux blend has a medium to the entire body with notable tannins and balanced acidity that allows for a subtle yet robust flavor.
  2. Rhône blend: This classic Rhône Valley red wine is a masterful combination of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes. These Rhone blend wines are renowned for their excellent flavor profile that can include berries, dark cherries, and plums.
  3. Super Tuscan: Super Tuscan red wines are renowned for their bold and tannin-rich flavor. To bring out the best in a glass of this delicate varietal, pair it with dishes that feature intense meaty flavors like roasted or smoked meats.
  4. Meritage: Meritage red wines are crafted from a blend of Bordeaux grape varieties grown in California since the 1980s and are renowned for their robust body and intense aromas. These vintages feature flavors like dark fruits, chocolate, cedarwood, and tobacco alongside fragrant notes of clove and pepper. In addition to these bold characteristics is an exquisite balance between moderate tannins & high acidity.
  5. GSM blend: GSM is an abbreviation that stands for Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre – a classic trio of red wine varieties. These particular wines are renowned for their bold fruity flavor profile as well as intensely pungent aromas of ripe fruit and herbs like sage alongside peppery notes on the finish.
  6. Zinfandel blend: A mix of Zinfandel and other varieties such as Petite Sirah, Syrah, or Cabernet Sauvignon. This blend stands apart from its counterparts with a much lighter composition than traditional pure Zinfandel wines.
  7. Malbec blend: Crafted from the renowned Malbec grape, this classic blend often combines with other varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to bring out its unique flavor. Originating in Argentina, these bold and complex red wines have become popular worldwide.

From Meritage to GSM, these are only a few varieties of red blends. The grapes used and the proportions of each grape differ based on the winemaker’s selection and where it is cultivated.

How to Choose the Right Red Blend for You


Choosing the right red blend depends on your taste and the occasion. Here are a few tips to help in choosing the right wine:

Consider the Grape Varieties

No matter your selection for a light and fruity or full-bodied and complex taste, there is surely an exquisite red wine blend to suit your palate. When choosing the ideal wine, recall what flavors make you hum with delight!

To accurately guess the aroma and flavor details of a wine blend, introducing oneself to its grape types is a terrific way to start. For instance, mixtures holding Cabernet Sauvignon typically have full-bodied tannins, while those using Grenache usually create a lighter body filled with fruity undertones.

The Right Blend for the Occasion

For the ideal food pairing, consider a robust Bordeaux blend. It’s best for dining and aperitif.

However, if you are gathering with friends for an event, opt for something light and fruity. The flavors are more subtle, so it’s perfect for people who don’t drink wine. With so many red blends on today’s market, one is certainly suited to any scenario!

Try Before You Buy

Before buying a bottle of red wine, sample some ahead if possible. Many wineries offer to taste, so you can take advantage of that and try red blends.

It’s to ensure its taste will be the perfect pick for your event and food. That way, you are confident it meets the standards that you have in mind.

Red Blends Food Pairing

Red blend wines are adaptable and can pair well with various foods. Here are some great food pairing options for red blend wines:

Grilled Meats

Red blends can perfectly pair with grilled steaks, pork, and lamb. The tannins in these robust wines bring out the savory flavors of meats. Since it’s a red wine, it has a good acidity that can cut through the fats of the meat.

Tomato-based Dishes

Red blends can perfectly pair your favorite tomato-based dishes like pasta with tasty sauce or savory pizza. The wine’s acidity balances the acidic tomatoes.

Hard Cheeses

Red blends make an excellent match to a plate of hard cheeses. The complexity and intensity present in these wines harmonize beautifully with the sharpness of aged cheddar or Parmesan.

Roasted Vegetables

Rich and velvety red blends are the perfect addition to any roasted vegetable dish, such as eggplant, mushrooms, or root veggies. The wine’s tannins provide an ideal balance to the earthy flavors of these vegetables for a truly delightful culinary experience.

Spicy Dishes

Red blends that don’t have high tannins can be an ideal pairing to spicy dishes. See Indian curries or Mexican cuisine as an example. Their fruity flavor profile offers a lovely contrast to the heat of these spices.

In Summary

With that, we conclude all there is to know about what is red blend wine. With plenty of options available, there is sure to be one that suits your taste perfectly. Why not give a few red blends of wine a try today?

Red Blend Wine

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