ALICANTE -BOUCHET- Is a red-fleshed grape that must be blended with other varieties. Even though the wine is very intense in color, the wine has very little acid and actually is light in body. A little Alicante in any blend will add some nice color.
BARBERA- is a grape that has a high level of natural acid but low tannins when fully ripe. Its wine can be intense but with medium bouquet and flavor. Blending Barbera with Petite Sirah or other high tannin wines could make a truly great wine.
CABERNET SAUVIGNON – With its remarkable concentration of tannins,pigments and flavor pigments it will produce deeply colored rigorous wines whose bouquet will only improve with age. For a wine that will mature sooner, do some blending with varieties with lower tannins and maybe a little more fruit.
CABAERNET FRANC – Wine is typically light to medium bodied with more fruit flavors and less tannins than a Cabernet Sauvignon. It will, therefore, mature earlier. It is great for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and other varieties.
CARIGNANE – Is another variety that should be blended. It has good acidity tannins, and color but lacks flavor and charm, it is great to blend with stronger flavor varieties like a Syrah or Zinfandel to make a little lighter smoother wine.
CARNELIAN – Grape is a variety that was developed from the Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, and Grenache. The wine has come of the characteristics of all these grapes. It produces a fine red wine.
GRENACHE – Is used mainly for blending and the making of Rose and Blush wines in California. If iat is blended with a variety that has good color, it can produce a fruity, spicy, medium – bodied wine. The grape usually have high sugar and Grenache can strengthen a wine with potential low alcohol.
MERLOT – Is a medium acid wine that is soft and mild and is easy to drink when it is young, color can range dark to light red. A great blender for stronger flavored high acid and high tannin varieties.
PETIT SIRAH – Produces a wine that is long-lived and deep colored with lots of tannin. It is a dry wine that has a very distinctive,recognizable flavor. A little Petit Sirah in any wine
will add flavor, body and color to the wine.
PINOT NOIR – Produces a fine wine with a pleasant fruitiness that has lower levels of tannin and color, The grapes are so versatile that they are also used to make Champagne.
RUBY CABERNET – Grapes were developed as a combination of Carignane and Cabernet Sauvignon. It produces a fine varietal wine.
SANGIOVESE OR BRUNELLO – Grapes from the basis for Chianti wines. The wines have noticeable tannins and acidity with just fair color. The riper grapes produce a wine that has great plum flavors and leathery texture.
SERAH-SHIRAZ – Is a wine that is spicy and leathery with smooth tannins and stubtle texture. It can be drunk when it is young or it can be aged. It is a great grape to blend with the Cabernets.
TEMPRANELLA OR VALDEPINA – Grapes are thick skinned and capable of making a deep colored long lasting wine with low acid. Great to blend with a flavorful variety.
ZINFANDEL OR PRINOTIVO – makes a dry, sturdy vigorous red wine. the wine usually has a great fruity bouquet with medium acid. A blend with Petit Sirah is just excellent. White Zinfandel is made from the low sugared early harvest Zinfandels.
CHARDONNAY – Wine is the largest selling white wine. It makes a dry and fruity white wine with good bouquet. At good sugar levels the variety may be low in acid so a little blending with a high acid white is recommended. It is a great wine for aging in oak barrels.
CHENIN BLANC – Is the most versatile grape variety. It is capable of producing some of the finest sweet wines. a pleasant dry varietal and a basis for many sparkling wines. It has good acid. A blend with a little Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc is excellent.
FRENCH COLUMBARD – makes a neutral flavored light white wine that can be made into a varietal because of its high acid. that high acid makes it a good blender.
MALAGA – Is a late maturing grape with medium sugar and lkow acid. It makes a dry light wine. It should be blended for balance.
MALVASIA BIANCA – makes a tangy wine with a real substance and character. It has a slight Muscat flavor. As a varietal, a little sweetness is desired. It is blended with Muscat, Canelli, Palomino or Trebbiano.
MUSCAT (OR ALEXANDER) – Is a common Muscat grape that is readily available. It makes a strong wine, sometimes sweet, with; a strong Muscat bouquet and flavor.
MUSCAT CANELLI – Makes a wine with a concentration of fine Muscat grape flavor light in body with a nice bouquet. It can be a dry, but you will enjoy the wine a lot more, if it is made slightly sweet. In Italy it is used as the basic for Asti Spumante.
PALOMINO – Is a grape that is usually low in sugar and acid. Since the wine can oxidize
easily, the Palimino is used quite often to make Sherry. For dry wines it is a good blender for other varieties that have high sugar and acid.
PINOT GRIGIO – Grapes are grayish blue to brownish pink. They produce a very light, crisp, white wine with mild flavors that is getting very popular worldwide.
SAUVIGNON BLANC – Makes both a great dry and sweet varietal wine. It is light and racy with a piecing, easily recognizable aroma. It is a great blender with Semillon and Chenin Blanc.
THOMPSON SEEDLESS – Grapes are mainly used for raisins or table grapes. For wine making it should be blended with other white varieties. It can be blended with red varieties to make a Rose.
UNGI BLAND-ST. EMELION- TREBBIANO – Grapes are planted world wide so extensively that it probably produces more wine than any other grape. As a varietal, its wine is light, white and crisp, with good acid but not much flavor, It is a very good blender.
VIOGNIER – Makes a floral and spicy white wine, medium to full-bodied and very fruity. The wine has a deep yellow color and is low in acid. It should be made as a varietal. It can be drunk at a very young age.
SOME GREAT BLENDS
66% Zinfandel – 16% Carignane – 16% Petit Sirah
66% Petit Sirah – 33% Pinot Noir
66% Sirah – 16% Zinfandel – 16% Alicante
66% Zinfandel – 33% Alicanti
75% Cabernet Sauvignon – 25% Merlot
66% Alicanti -16% Barbera – 16% Zinfandel
66% Ruby Cabernet – 33% Alicante
55% Cabernet Sauvignon – 40% Zinfandel – 5% Barbera
75% Merlot – 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
66% Sangiovese – 16% Alicanti – 16% Zinfandel
33% Grenache – 33% Alicanti – 33% Zinfandel
35% Grenache – 35% Carignane – 20% Zinfandel – 15% Alicanti
50% Alicanti – 50% Grenache
Most types except a Syrah, Petit Sirah and Alicanti can be blended together to make a Rose. Just leave the crush on the skins for one to two days and press out. A 100% Grenache left just one day on the skins after crushing makes an excellent Rose.
All white grapes can be blended. Just try to mix the varieties with a high acid with a variety that has a low acid.