The Best Red Blends to Drink Right Now

Red blends have existed since their origins in winemaking. From casual table wines to notable bottles like the Original Wine Blend Bordeaux, winemakers have been blending wines for centuries. However, red blended wines in particular have grown in popularity this past year due to their complexity and great variability.

In fact, red blended wines are now the second most popular red wine in the United States after Cabernet Sauvignon and dominate their own sector of the global wine market, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s State of the US Wine Industry 2023 report. I keep doing it.

But with so many bottles to choose from and obscure labels, red blends can be tricky to navigate. Here’s everything you need to know about red blended wines. Plus, a rundown of the best smooth-drinking bottles to get you on top of your tasting journey.

What is blended red wine?

The term “red blend” refers to red wines made from multiple grape varieties. Red blends are produced all over the world and vary greatly depending on the grape variety used and where it is grown.

Common grape combinations used to make red blended wines include Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Merlot-Malbec and Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre (usually abbreviated GSM). Others contain more complex expressions. For example, Bordeaux-style red blends are traditionally made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, but can also incorporate Malbec, Carmenere and Petit Verdot.

“It can mean different things,” says Jim Gordon. wine lover’s Senior Tasting Editor. Labels for blended red wines can be difficult to understand because of the many possible combinations.

Generally, red blends are labeled based on their origin, like Bordeaux, or simply as a red blend. According to Gordon, this labeling often helps distinguish between Old World and New World blends.

New World’s Red Blend is a bottle you’ll find in the “Red Blend” section of any grocery store or wine shop. They tend to label things like GSM, red blends, and red wines. This is to avoid naming wines by grape variety, but can be rather ambiguous to the layman.

Old World red blends like Chianti Classico and Rioja, on the other hand, are labeled by their origin. “They’re not labeled with a single grape variety, so they’re all red blends,” Gordon says. is an example of

That’s right, things like Chianti (made primarily from Sangiovese plus small amounts of other black grapes) are often actually red blended wines. You probably won’t find a bottle of Chianti in

In addition, many major growing regions have rules about what constitutes a blend based on the proportions of grapes present. At least 75% of the grape variety should be used. This means that a bottle labeled Cabernet Sauvignon must be made with at least 75% of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, but the bottle contains 10% Merlot of his grapes. very likely to contain Technically It’s a blend even though it’s not labeled as such.

Ready to start exploring different flavor profiles in red blended wines? wine lovers The tasting department shares bottle picks from around the world.

8 best red blends

94 Points Wine Enthusiast

A blend of 55% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah, the nose is intense with robust notes of wild boysenberry, dark plum and brown spice. The mouthfeel is hearty with flavors of roasted berries, marjoram and curry leaves that build tension on the finish. —Matt Ketman

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92 Points Wine Enthusiast

Dark garnet in color, this wine offers aromas of blackberry, raspberry and vanilla. A network of delicate tannins supports flavors of pomegranate, raspberry, menthol and cocoa powder. Notes of candied orange peel and violets reach the finish. — Mike Desimon


96 Points Wine Enthusiast

Doug Margerum and winemaker Michael Miroballi have made great strides with this annual blend, featuring 47% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 9% Mourvèdre and 2% Counoise from eight vineyards in this vintage. , contains Cinsault 2%. Rich aromas of boysenberry, purple flowers, turning his earth, and star anise underpinned lead to a palate that transitioned effortlessly from lavender to elderberry, while white pepper and dry his thyme added complexity. Raise. —MK

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93 Points Wine Enthusiast

Named after the 18th-century Russian Tsar Peter the Great, this wine has firm tannins and is balanced by black fruits. Not only is it still young, but it also has a high-quality richness and strength. Drink from 2026. — Roger Voss

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93 Points Wine Enthusiast

Aromas of graphite, leather, blue flowers and wild berries waft from the glass. Elegant and delicious, the fresh and supple mouthfeel brings out ripe black plum, cassis, mint and liquorice with fine-grained tannins. Drink until 2027. —Kerin O’Keefe


93 Points Wine Enthusiast

This dark purple wine has a bouquet of blackcurrants, cocoa powder and coffee beans. Flavors of blackberry, black cherry, braised fennel, roasted tomato, and bittersweet chocolate make for a savory palate. Deep tannins are heightened by bright fruit notes that linger into a lingering finish. —M.D.

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93 Points Wine Enthusiast

This flows like satiny, with pomegranate, plum and chalk shavings adding a mineral touch. A zesty floral edge emerges in the middle of the palate and hangs gracefully over the streaky acidity, giving spine along with fine-grained tannins that melt on the palate. It’s beautiful now, so there’s no need to make it a cellar unless you want a third note. — Alex Zesevic


91 Points Wine Enthusiast

Poured in the glass, this dark garnet wine offers aromas of raspberry, cassis and roasted nuts, with flavors of black cherry, blackberry, aniseed, roasted fennel bulb and juniper berry on the palate. join inside. Deeply set tannins recede into a violet-scented finish. —M.D.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for a good blended red wine?

Red blends can take on a wild array of colours, aromas, flavors, structure and aging. So when it comes to what a good blended red wine is, there are no easy answers.

“It’s hard to say because it varies so much from place to place,” says Gordon. For example, Chianti Classico, made primarily from Sangiovese grapes grown in Italy, doesn’t taste like his typical Californian blend of Syrah, Merlot, and Zinfandel.

In general, good red blends are made from quality grapes that balance the five most important elements of wine: sweetness, acidity, tannin, alcohol and body.

For curious drinkers, red blends can also provide avenues to explore beyond the predictable bottle to products that aren’t simply the sum of their parts.

“Blending is a good way to make a wine more complex,” says Gordon. “It’s often smoother in texture and more interesting to taste.”

Gordon believes red blends are also a great way to experience a particular region’s terroir. “Blending reduces the character of individual varietals, giving you an overall sense of what the wine from that location should taste like.”

How are red blends made?

The grapes used to make the red blended wine are grown, harvested and fermented individually. This differs from field blends, which are made from a melange of different grapes grown side by side in the vineyard and fermented together.

After fermentation, the resulting single varietal wines are combined to create a red blended wine. For more information on how red blending is done, check out our article on why, when and how to blend.

Is red blended wine sweet?

The sweetness of blended red wines depends on the grapes and sugars left over from fermentation or added during the process. Check out the definitive guide to sweet wines to learn more about the role of sugar in wine.

Chill red blended wine?

The ideal serving temperature for red blends, like other red wines, is just below room temperature (55°F to 65°F). For more guidance, check out our guide on the dos and don’ts of chilling wine.

How do you pair red blended wines?

Red blends tend to be bolder on the palate, but some are more full-bodied than others. Because of this, red blends can be difficult to combine. But as a rule of thumb, red blends tend to pair well with rich meat dishes like Easy Oven Baby Back Ribs and vegetarian meals like Pizza Napoletana.

Another approach is to combine red blends with the traditional cuisine of the region. “If you drink Super He Tuscany or Chianti, then Bistecca He Fiorentina,” suggests Gordon. “Or if you’re drinking Bordeaux red wine, nothing beats something like grilled lamb chops.”

Pairing red blended wines with local cuisine is a way to elevate its terroir, as well as a way to elevate the flavors of a culture in a way that can transport you to another location.

Why You Should Trust Us

All products listed here are written by experienced writers and wine tasters, wine lovers headquarters. All ratings and reviews are done blind in controlled settings and reflect parameters out of 100. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment to conduct product reviews, but may earn a commission on purchases made through links on this site. Prices are correct at time of publication.

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