by James Russo
As we try to free ourselves from Old Man winter’s grip here in the Northeast, he generally has a few surprises for us in March. Most recently, a cold and snowy few days that required a hearty meal to stiffen our resolve as we wait for the warmer weather. What types of wines go best with the Beef Stews and Roasted meats that we love to prepare on these types of weekends? An amazing red blended wine of course.
Everywhere from fine dining to your local wine shops, red blends are suddenly uber hot. What are these red blends and why should you consider drinking them?
In the United States, a red blend is basically a wine not made from one specific grape varietal. If you’ve ever had Menage a Trois red wine or Apothis red, then you’re a part of the trend. Red blends now sell more than most other pure varietals like Merlot. While this trend is fairly new in the US, it has been going on in Europe for quite some time. Think Bordeaux and Chianti.
What makes a red blend interesting and special is that wine makers have figured out that most people like certain attributes of a particular grape. A Cabernet Sauvignon for its structure or a Merlot for its softer round fruit style. They are constructing blends in the hopes of striking a chord with the consumer. Many of these inexpensive reds are blended for mass appeal. Full flavored super ripe fruit that is low on acidity generally works well.
Sometimes it’s hit or miss when selecting a producer or region for your red blend. The guidance of a reputable wine shop should help. You shouldn’t have to spend more than $19.99 for a delicious red blend from California. Perhaps trying a simple Bordeaux could do the trick as well. Here are a few selections you might want to take a look at:
- Joel Gott Columbia Valley Red
- Bogle “The Phantom”
- Dreaming Tree Crush Red Blend
- Raymond R collection Field Blend
Which ever brand you decide to try, I’m certain you’ll enjoy a red blend with your hearty Sunday Stew!
James Russo is a 20+ year accomplished veteran of the Wine industry. He has worked for and represented such amazing wine companies as: Francis Ford Coppola Winery/Rubicon Estate, Robert Mondavi Winery, Frescobaldi, Ornellaia, Sonoma Cutrer and Banfi Estates. To name just a very few. James goes by the title “Wine Escoffier”. Combining his love of wine and food to bring out the best in in all components. He has guest lectured and trained countless service staff on his wineries. He welcomes your input and questions regarding wine.