What’s in a blend? Well, plenty is the answer. A good blend whether red or white can enhance and expand on all the flavours of each individual grape and add a complexity that deserves to be savoured. Then again, there are still some winemakers who get it horribly wrong.

Most of us will have had blends even if we didn’t purposefully choose them; for example if you have drunk Champagne, there’s at least a two in three chance of it having been a blend and all Bordeaux reds are blends. Likewise the famous wines of Chateauneuf du Pape, lots of Rioja and plenty of Chianti, not to mention the Californian reds where they often sell the wine by the name of the predominant grape but omit to tell you about the three or four minor ones in the bottle!

My favourite blend of all time is Cabernet Merlot, but Cab Shiraz and Shiraz Merlot also score highly for me.

In the whites, my particular favourite for a long time has been a blend of Semilon and Sauvignon with either grape predominant. The acidity and levels of tropical fruits make this unbelievably refreshing.


Longview LV Shiraz Cabernet, Australia

What a gorgeous wine for the price with soft, almost sensual brambly fruits and a lovely hint of exotic spices on the finish.

Oddbins £14.00


Corney & Barrow Claret, Maison Sichel

I don’t know how they do it for this price but this is a quintessential Bordeaux that you don’t need to rob the bank for. Juicy autumn fruits on the nose but a classic, restrained, almost broody palate. I love it.

www.corneyandbarrow.com, £10.75

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