Sometimes one just isn’t enough. This can be true when it comes to lobster rolls at the Black Pearl, cashiers at Duane Reade and that tasty little chocolate that they leave on your pillow in hotels (especially if it’s a Toblerone). When it comes to wine there is also something to be said about having more than one grape variety. Blends, or wines that are a blend of different grape varieties, can be some of the most interesting, complex and delicious wines out there. The different grapes, like a well-stocked spice rack, can add an extra layer of flavor and depth to the wine. Although blends have been around since the creation of wine, today winemakers are pushing the envelope, creating blends that are unique, unexpected and bursting with flavor. Here are a few of our favorite traditional and non-traditional blends.
Chateau La Louviere, Bordeaux 2002, $40
This great white Bordeaux is 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15 % Semillon. The reason this blend works so well is the perfect balance of aromas and acidity from the Sauvignon Blanc and the body from the Semillon. This wine has body and personality – unfortunately that doesn’t come cheap.
Channing Daughters, 2002 Mudd, $40
We had to include this blend mostly because it contains Blaufrankisch, an Austrian grape you don’t see everyday and particularly in Long Island. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Dornfelder, Merlot and of course Blaufrankish (ok it’s only 1%, but it packs a good punch). The Cabernet notes dominate in this blend but they balanced with a nice amount of spice and softness from the other grapes. It’s a great fall wine.
Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2002, $32
You can't talk about blends without mentioning Australian wines. The Aussies have been doing it forever and achieved greatness with Penfolds Grange. This blend is a mix of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It has great fruit with a balance of spice. Our pick to pair with BBQ or grilled lamb. Mmmm….
Blending unique flavors and styles together often takes something that is great and makes it extraordinary. Then again, this concept is not new to us New Yorkers. Where else can you find a Kosher Chinese restaurant run by a Brazilian family? The moo-shu brisket is to die for.