Wine blends on #winechat

What a week for #winechat! The tweets were flying so fast they were, um, blending together! Lorie Perrone did a great job keeping the flow going!

So what did we talk about?
You’re enjoying a blend more often than you think; US laws allow for 25% of another varietal to be blended into that bottle!
Some of the most expensive wines you can buy are blends, such as wines from Bordeaux, Chateauneuf du Pape, and Champagne. By combining grape varieties, winemakers can accentuate wine’s strengths and diminish any weak points.

Fun facts we learned this week

  • There are 6 allowable grapes in Bordeaux – most people know Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, but forget about Carmenère!
  • Meritage is an American term, derived from the words “merit” and “heritage,” and rhymes with “heritage” (no French accent needed!).  The name is used for these blends which use the same grapes as Bordeaux, are grown outside of the Bordeaux region.
  • Champagne: most think of the 3 main grapes used for blending, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, but in fact there are 7 grapes allowed. The other 4 are Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc & Pinot Gris.
  • Super Tuscans led to a bit of a debate. Contrary to popular belief, these wines don’t wear capes and fly around rescuing poor souls from drinking bad wine (how cool would that be!) . In the 1970s, a group of winemakers started to revolt against the bad Chianti that was being produced and created wines that didn’t fit into the DOC rules. Sassicaia was the first to break the rules planting Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc back in 1944!
  • Hermitage is thought of being 100% Syrah yet the appellation rules allow the addition of 15% or less of Marsanne/Roussannes.
  • The Australian blends of Shiraz/Cab or Grenache/Syrah/Mouvedre were on the top of people’s lists!

I know I missed some great points from the week’s discussion – let me know by leaving a comment below!

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