Get your blend on

Maybe I’m a snob, or maybe I’m irrational (or both, according to my husband). But I just can’t wrap my mind around blended wines. Cabernet-merlot, zinfandel-pinot noir (ugh, do they make that?) — it just doesn’t seem right. It conjurs up thoughts of chicken nuggets made out of chicken bits (you know those bits are the parts that aren’t appetizing enough to make it into “real” food) or fruit cocktail made from the bruised fruit that only looks good soaked in nectar.  Blended wines must be made from the grapes that don’t look or taste good enough on their own, right?

But as is wont to happen, the thrill of a sale beat out my snobbery last week when I saw Rosemount and Ravenswood wines on sale at Smith’s (Kroger). Buy one, get one for a penny. Not bad, eh? I decided that at that price, I could afford to revisit my preconceived notions and try a blend.

I picked a 2008 Rosemount shiraz-cabernet and a 2008 Shiraz. Those Aussies know a thing or two about shiraz, after all. Tonight I opened the shiraz-cab with low expectations, really just hoping it’d be good enough to drink. (nothing against Rosemount, I just didn’t know what to expect from a blend at a close-out price)

The aroma has a hint of tobacco, but overall scent is actually very light, barely there. Deep, dark berry taste with a hint of smokiness, but again, a very subtle taste. The light taste actually belies the heavier mouthfeel. You can feel the tannins, but they don’t make the mouth pucker like some tannin-heavy wines do.

My mind tells me I’d pair this with a spicy-sausage spaghetti and buttery garlic bread. But when I stole some of my daughter’s M&Ms, I discovered they’re a wonderful complement to this wine. Huh.

Bottom line, I like it. There. I said it. I like a blended wine. Now I have to rethink everything I assumed about blended wines and chicken nuggets. (But I stand by my claim that fruit cocktail is just bruised fruit masked with sugar-water.)


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