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Home blended wine - why does it not work?

Imagine: You open a bottle of expensive 15 y/o Claret - even after decanting it tastes somewhat flat and lacking fruit :neutral_face:. So you add a measure of younger new world cab sauv & hey-presto, it’s now sophisticated, a touch of fresh oak & there is fruit to compliment the original Medoc complexity. :yum:

Except this doesnt work. Weinert carrascal assemblage excepted… for some reason I dont understand.

This is fine with Whisky, never fails. OK, another story, but I have never managed to improve a dull bottle of wine by including another wine: Why is that?


Because your name isn’t Rudi Kurniawan :wink::wink:


If it weren’t for your whisky analogy (and even with it), I wonder if it’s something to do with the flavours taking time to integrate.

When you first mix the two wines you’ve got two separate wines at the same time fighting for attention rather than one single integrated wine? That said, isn’t that what Rudy Kurniawan when he was ripping off the guzillionaires?

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Rudi Kurniawan… having googled… is just plain fraud, a con. I’m wondering why you cant blend (for instance) a bloussy mersault with a sharp chablis and get the best of both worlds.

Lets ignore the AOC / EU etc rules for the moment. Ditto any global rules.

Or maybe you can ! in which case why isnt it more common?


People were drinking his wines and at least pretending not to notice that they weren’t amazing though.

I think I’m going to stick to my integration idea. What you’re suggesting is basically an extreme form of assemblage. It just takes time after the wines have been blended to become one wine, so just doing it at home with two bottles of wine is a bit grim. Maybe if you did it carefully and rebottled it for a while it might work?

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One of the commonest reasons for a bottle tasting dull and lacking fruit is that it is borderline corked. The trihaloanisoles depress the sense of aromatics and fruit, leaving mostly structural components such as tannins and acids. If you add another unaffected wine to that, the THAs will do exactly the same thing all over again.

(edited to correct idiotic chemical mistake!)


Ever had Gin and Dandelion and Burdock…exactly!

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I think @Ghost-of-Mr-Tallis has nailed it.

Because I have blended wines at home and elsewhere and found a blend that I prefer over the individual components. For your resulting blend to have the same dullness that the first wine did strikes me that there was a fault with the first that affects any blend in which it’s a part


Out of interest, which wines have you blended that you prefer over the components? It does set my mind wondering / open a door to wine cocktail blending.

I have had a crack at this in minuscule quantities and had an unsatisfactory result without cork taint involved afaik (possibly i just missed this). It was a while ago and I can’t reliably recall the constituents. I think it was a past its best shiraz (15+ years aussie) with a more youthful wine. I seem to recall the Aussie being very tertiary, enjoyable more as a mental exercise with the fruit considerably in retreat. The wine wasn’t one of the winery’s top wines just merely aged.

The combination was like two instrumentalists playing their own song at the same time, with no matching key or beat and neither instrumentalist was particularly competent in the first place :slight_smile:


I suspect a lot of this might be down to the skills of the blender, in knowing what two (or more) wines will complement one another’s flavours/aromas/textures. Maybe failure only tell us how much we should admire the people that do the blending of different grapes at the wine producer’s.


Not only different grapes - all wines are blends - of different clones, differently aged vines, vineyards, parts of the vineyard and barrels.

The winemakers skills come to the fore making the final assemblage.


I’ve been at two wineries which offered visitors the chance to blend their own wine. You got bottles of a single variety then using a measuring tube you made blends you tasted - when you had chosen one they made up a full bottle to the proportions you’d chosen. Funnily enough I came across the label from the first of these.
Hillebrand -Mayritage-small

A couple of years ago our U3A tasting group competed in the BBC - Blauwklippen Blending Competition. The South African winery sent a case of mixed varietal wines and using the supplied measuring tube we tried blends - we had Malbec, Merlot, Shiraz & Zinfandel there are rules, no more than 40% of a single variety and all varieties have to be present.
Different source varieties every year - you can see this years varieties and rules here https://www.blaauwklippen.com/bbc-registration/.
We came very close to the winning blends but missed out to a German wine club. But it was a hell of a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

And then when we have had several open bottles on a table we’ve experimented with adding other wine(s) to the one in a glass, on the spur, no planning, no notes. It’s fun and there are surprises!


That sounds like a real hoot! :smiley:

I guess it comes down to the component wines being:

Campatible: eg Shiraz / Viogner, Cab franc/ sauv/ merlot, Sauv blanc / semillon.
Given time to ‘marry’ before drinking. ie: not under a minute
Skill of the blender ! (not me).

That blending event sounds fun. Maybe TWS could host one of them once ‘IT’ clears?


In general, a lot of cabernet/shiraz blends taste like two wines in the same bottle. (Not all though.) Even the cheap ones come round and lose that property in 2-4 years cellaring. Even the cheap ones.

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Mulled wine it is then…

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Last night I opened a bottle of english red which had all the crunchy red fruit but a touch too much cranberry acidity for it to be wholly enjoyable. A splash of Birbet, a 5.5% semi-sparkling red made from grape must made all the difference in terms of pleasurable drinking. Wouldn’t call it a game changer but it made a good quaffer.

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Most pubs won’t serve snakebites anymore, just saying! :grin:

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One “trick” that I was told about was the way to elevate an ordinary bottle of Soave.
Take one bottle of very typical NZ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, that is performing well.
Blend with 2 bottles of the Soave.
The result is very surprising, and I will leave it to you to discover.
Some friends of mine did this at a dinner party, when at the last minute they discovered that they did not have enough of the NZ Sauv Blanc. Their solution was a huge success! :+1: :clap: :wink: :dragon:


Another nifty trick you may find helpful -

If you find yourself with an ageing bottle of champagne that has gone “chocolatey” (they don’t all do this but you’ll know exactly what it means if you do get one) - grab a bottle of a cheap, young supermarket-type champagne and blend the two. The chocolateyness transforms itself magically into instant suave maturity in the result. You can get two good bottles out of two questionable ones.