Editor’s Note: I used to be of the (mis-informed) opinion, that wine ‘blends’ were named as such, because they contained sub-par varieties nobody wanted to talk about. Where did I come up with this, when wine blends are literally everywhere? Perhaps, the purist in me that wants to know precisely what I’m drinking? Or maybe the notion evolved from opinions formed that I know I like Pino Noir, for example, but am not so sure what to expect in that “blend”? Try something new – and give a blend a chance! You may be surprised what you find…
Just like a good blend, Friends with Blends is a collaboration of some very distinct — but complimentary — personalities. Our mutual love of blends brought us together and has kept us together, despite a couple of cross-country moves.
For Minnesota Uncorked’s “30 Days of Wine,” we’re each sharing a bit about why we love blends.
Twitter @FriendswBlends, or Facebook: facebook.com/FriendswBlends
When people ask me, “What’s your favorite wine?” I answer, “Blends!”
I like wine how I like my coffee: complex, a little dark—but never bitter. For a while, I only consistently purchased and drank Relax Riesling. It’s easily paired, affordable, and easy-to-drink.
Relax was a wonderful way to end the day, but it isn’t a complex drink. You don’t have to think about it, which is not a bad thing when you want to, well, relax. On the other hand, wine blends changed my mind about how fun having a glass of wine can be. (You know, besides a glass of wine’s obvious side effects).
When you have a great cup of coffee, you remember it. Wine blends are like coffee blends: great ones are worth remembering and revisiting.
The red blend I currently can’t stop thinking about is Tenshen red. It has all the right things. A sip starts with a little sweet taste. Then a really strong grape flavor takes over as you drink it. My favorite part is that Tenshen doesn’t end as a sweet wine, but with just the tiniest bit of dryness instead. If I were to compare it to coffee, it’s like you’ve added a touch of sugar to a cup of Sumatra. It’s perfect!
Why do I love blends?
That’s a bit of a tough question because a year ago I probably would have said “Blends? No thanks, the bold flavor of a Cabernet is where it’s at for me.” But after embarking on this journey with friends to uncover wine in a way I’d never thought of, it’s become apparent that I do, in fact, love blends.
Now the why is a little difficult to decipher, but I think it comes down to the excitement of the unknown. A Cab will always taste like a Cab; some better than others, but always a similar palette. A blend though…a blend can be anything. A mixture of your favorites, or your least favorites — there’s really no telling what the result will be until you uncork it.
For me, the blend I can’t put down is Dreaming Tree Crush. It’s sweet and approachable; soft, but memorable. Not only is it perfect while cooking and eating dinner, The Dreaming Tree takes an eco-friendly approach to manufacturing their wine. Their love and passion for both wine and sustainability is evident in the rich flavors of their wines. Also…it makes for a mean sangria!
Did someone say blends?
I thoroughly love the idea of getting a little bit of everything. Blends are mixed so well that even if people can’t appreciate one particular strain of grape, they end up finding something new about their taste buds that leads to gaining more knowledge about themselves. Blends are also an excellent way to pair a lot of different foods together as it promotes a sense of harmony and creation that truly has no limits. Blends have introduced me into a world where trying everything should be a staple in people’s lives simply because you never know what is out there.
The blend that has been growing on me is 192, a California wine blend that is not only smooth but has strength that keeps you wanting more. This blend starts pretty mild in sweetness, but then smooths out for a light and easy taste to enjoy on really any occasion. With holidays approaching, you should heat 192 up a little with your favorite spices (oranges, cinnamon, clove) to make some awesome “Glüehwein.” Enjoy!