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Red blends have been around since the origins of winemaking. From casual table wines to prominent bottles like the ‘original wine blend’ Bordeaux, winemakers have been blending wines for centuries. But red blend wines, in particular, have increased in popularity over the year for their complexity and great variability.
In fact, red blend wines are now the second most popular red wine in the U.S. after Cabernet Sauvignon and continue to dominate its own sector of wine markets across the globe, according to the Silicon Valley Bank State of the U.S. Wine Industry 2023 report.
But with so many bottles to choose from and somewhat ambiguous labels, red blends can be tricky to navigate. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about red blend wines. Plus, a rundown of the best smooth-sipping bottles to spearhead your tasting journey.
What Is a Red Blend Wine?
The term “red blend” refers to red wine made from more than one grape varietal. Red blends are produced around the world and vary tremendously based on what types of grapes are used and where they are grown.
Common grape combinations used to make red blend wine include Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Merlot-Malbec and Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedré (typically shortened as G-S-M). Others involve more complex formulas. For instance, Bordeaux-style red blends are traditionally made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, but can also incorporate Malbec, Carménère and Petit Verdot.