Red Wine Blends That Won't Hurt Your Wallet
I began today ostensibly writing about Meritage wines and bordeaux, but then the truth interfered. The truth is, Meritage wines, and some of bordeaux can't really be distinguished today from many other more "inventive" blends that are creeping into the marketplace. While some blends remain dominated by say, cabernet sauvignon, with a little barbera or syrah thrown in for some spice and brightness, where can one draw a line between these wines?
The truth is one can't, and one shouldn't. Today's lineup consists of blends $20 and less, not exactly the hotbed of terroir-driven wines, which can be an issue with blends to begin with, so what I'm looking for here is enjoyability. What else can one expect from an inexpensive blend? A whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Blended wines are in some ways a relic of the past, when farmers grew a variety of grapes to be sure to have a crop regardless of the vagaries of the vintage. In recent years, they have become a bit of a last ditch catch-all for many wines, which in and of itself isn't a bad thing. Some great juice, syrah and barbera for example, has certainly gone to plump up some less than perfectly ripe cabernet, resulting in a perfectly decent glass of wine at an affordable price. However, don't expect fireworks and varietal perfection. Sometimes one just has to be satisfied with what one has, because you can't always get what you need.
— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth