The 5 Best Red Blend Wines - Top Recommendations in 2020

The 5 Best Red Blend Wines

This post was updated on: August 1, 2020

The 5 Best Red Blend Wines

If you love red blend wine, here is a fantastic guide to our favorite 5. We cover taste, value for money, and everything else you need to know too. 

red blend wine
Red blend wine is popular around the world and can be found in any liquor store here in the US.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at exactly what it means to be a blended wine, the defining features of a typical red blend, the popular regions where red blend is made, and the top 5 best red blend wines according to us.

What Is Red Blend Wine?

Blended red wine is exactly what it sounds like: a blend of different red grapes to make one complete, balanced wine.

red blend wine

This differs from wine varietals, which are made from one type of grape. In the US, a wine must contain at least 75% of one grape variety to be classed as a varietal.

Over the past decade, red blends have become increasingly popular, and
you can now find them sold by as many classy wine merchants as in your standard
liquor store.

A red blend is made by choosing two or more varieties of grape, fermenting them, then blending them together.

Certain grape combinations are particularly harmonious - an example of which is Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot to make Bordeaux, and there are numerous other red blends that have become as popular as the respective wines that make them up.

Factors such as the ripening time of the grapes and the thickness of the skins have a big impact on the end flavor of the product and on how well they blend together to create a united aroma and flavor.

How Is a Blend Wine Made?

Red blend wine is made by crushing the grapes, extracting the juices and making individual fermentations, before creating various blends until the taster likes the end product.

variety of grapes

On occasion, white grapes are also used to add another layer of freshness and complexity to the end product.

The choice of grapes and the ratios used in the blend are only part of what determines the taste; arguably the most influential factor on flavor is the region in which the grapes were grown.

This is largely due to the climate and soil which make a big difference to the tannin levels, impacting the acidity and overall effect of the wine of the palate.

Popular Red Grape Blends

Certain combinations of grape varieties are particularly popular for use
in blends. These include:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot - both ripen at different speeds, and together they make the unmistakable full-bodied blend that is Bordeaux, the Cabernet Sauvignon earthy and rich in tannins, which compliments the milder Merlot well.
  • Shiraz and Grenache - the Australian Shiraz is complemented perfectly by Grenache, balancing a fragrant, faintly spicy finish on the Shiraz with a fresh and fruity flavor from the Grenache

Great blends are not only comprised of two grape varieties, with many award-winning wines containing up to five types.

The majority of blends are comprised of around 50% from one grape, and the rest will be made up of two or more other types.

Recommended: What sets apart a Riesling from other white wines? Read all about them here, plus get your hands on the 5 best Riesling Wines.

red wine being poured into a glass

3 Interesting Facts About Red Blends

1. Blended wines have layers: some wine purists may turn their noses up at red blends, but when done correctly, an optimum blend can bring a complexity and uniqueness of character to the end result.

The combined force of different grape varieties, combined with other factors such as ripening times, type of fermentation and oak barrel aging, can create a full-bodied drink that rivals any varietal.

2. Certain varietals are bred to blend: specific grape types are bred and grown specifically to be blended with another, chosen for its ability to complement the flavors of the other grape(s).

This can be seen most notably in Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot which is traditionally blended to create Bordeaux, as each grape contains elements that balance out the other.

3. Blends tend to be red: white grapes are usually only used in varietals, as blends tend to work best when reds are the predominant grapes used.

However, some red blends contain a little white grape to bring freshness and another dimension to the palate.

Want to know what our five favorite wine blends are? Read on!

Our Top 5 Red Blend Wines

In our opinion, these are the only red blends worth trying. See what you think below.

1. Moon X Red Blend ($6.99)

The Moon X is an affordable wine is available to buy at Trader Joe’s, and is a great first step on a ladder of red blend discovery.

moonx red blend wine

The bottle promises ‘the total blackness of the new moon’, introducing a dark, fruity and sumptuous red blend to our shelves.

The balanced blend is from California and is comprised of Merlot, Zinfandel and Shiraz, which are combined in such a way to give a rich taste and dark appearance similar to a Bordeaux.

It’s a versatile a wine that, at 13.5%, is rich and full-bodied which is somewhat surprising for its unassuming appearance - and it’s low price at $6.99 makes it worth a try for even the most inexperienced wine drinker.

Taste

The Moon X contains aromas of cocoa, licorice, gentle spice and a hint of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is juicy and rich with flavors of berry, plum and cherries.

Overall, it’s a satisfying fruity wine with just a subtle hint of sweetness to round off the well-balanced tannin.

Value for Money

At only $6.99 a bottle, this striking wine is surprisingly sophisticated. Rich and complex in flavor, it could easily be a blend of twice the price.

Goes Well With

The bottle says that the Moon X goes well with ‘roasted meats, barbequed anything, chocolates or just by itself’.

We couldn’t agree more, but would like to add: beef burgers, beef stews and smoked cheeses.

2. Falcone NV Annaté IX Red (Paso Robles) ($65)

The Falcone family vineyards are famed for their deliciously original red blends, and this particular wine is no exception.

Packed with flavor and laced with delicate aromas, you’d be forgiven for feeling like you’d been swept off to the Californian coast when you take your first sip.

Falcone NV Annaté IX Red wine

Blended in Paso Robles, the Annaté IX is smooth and well-balanced, and is a unique blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

A hearty 14.6%, this sumptuous wine is a non-vintage variety and makes an excellent gift or accompaniment to a special occasion meal.

Taste

The initial aromas are fragrant and spicy - almost savory in nature - with notes of coffee, toast and a subtle sharpness of blackcurrant.

On the palate, the blend follows through with a smooth yet characterful burst of cherry, star anise, licorice and a little smokiness.

Value for Money

At $65, this is by no means a cheap red blend, but the singularity of the blend, the richness of the flavors and the fact that it is blended by a family-run business all make it worth the expense - especially if you’re celebrating a special event.

Goes Well With

The smooth finish and gentle spice of this blend means that is goes well with roasted meat dishes, smokey cheeses and rich spiced food like curries and tagines.

Up next: A bottle of wine dedicated to a criminal? Learn more about the 19 Crimes Red Blend wine here!

3. Grounded Wine Co. Public Radio Red Wine ($25)

Another wonderful blend from the green slopes of renowned wine region Paso Robles, Grounded Wine Co’s offering is a delectable balance of Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah, all aged for 16 months to give a warm, oaky finish.

Grounded Wine Co. Public Radio Red Wine

At 14.4%, this full-bodied wine is surprisingly juicy and soothing on the palate, and is a wonderfully indulgent choice of blend that’s ideal for a weekend treat.

Taste

When left to breathe properly, the aromas of this 2016 Public Radio red are alluring and sensuous, with notes of plum, bramble and cherry, finished with an evocative spice.

On the palate, the blend offers flavors of cooking spice, star anise and a pleasant acidity with tannins softly making their presence known without too much interference.

Smooth and oh-so easy to drink, this is the perfect wine for a laid back night in or to take to a dinner party.

Value for Money

At $25, this is a well-priced blend for those who want to splurge just a little without breaking the bank.

If this is a little outside of your price range for everyday drinking, it makes a great gift for both wine enthusiasts and novices alike.

Goes Well With

This smooth wine is the perfect companion to roasted meats such as beef and pork, as well as rich cuts like veal and game.

Partner with slow-cooked stews, ragu, authentic pizzas and beef burgers for a cozy and indulgent evening meal.

4. Château Lécuyer 2016 Pomerol ($60)

This luxurious red wine is an investment for your wine cellar, and should ideally not be drunk until 2022.

The blend contains 90% Merlot, giving it smooth and sultry character that works wonderfully when paired with rich, umami-heavy dishes and roasted meats.

Château Lécuyer 2016 Pomerol wine

Whether you’re just starting out in the world of wine, or you’re an experienced collector, this blend stands a head and shoulders above the rest for its richness and unforgettably silken personality. It has been lauded as one of the best wines to ever come out of the Pomerol wineries.

Taste

With overtones of spice and mellow fruitiness, the wine moves into rich plum and dense cooked spice, before finishing in a strikingly balanced punch of tannins.

To experience the full effect of this wonderful blend, you should wait at least 5 years to drink it from the date on the bottle.

Value for Money

If you’re willing to give it time, this find blend is a surefire investment for the future. Come 2022, after it has been allowed a little time to breathe, the $60 bottle will be an exquisite accompaniment to a special meal, or simply enjoyed alone.

Goes Well With

Ideally pair this wine with rich meat dishes, strong cheese and earthy flavors such as sauteed mushrooms.

Recommended: Looking for something rich and juicy that has a warm, slightly spiced finish with a hint of star anise and delicate florals? Look no further than Ripasso wines!

5. Château Peyros 2015 Vieilles Vignes Tannat-Cabernet (Madiran) ($20)

This gorgeous blend from Southwest France is the perfect balance of Tannat and Cabernet Franc to create a smooth and deceptively complex wine.


Ideally, you should not drink this wine until 2022, as it has been created especially for aging.

Château Peyros 2015 Vieilles Vignes Tannat-Cabernet (Madiran) wine

At 14% and medium-bodied, a bottle of this 2015 Vieilles Vignes is a lovely addition to the wine cellar newcomer, but is an equally wonderful gift for a wine lover.

Taste

This is a blend that packs a punch and is rounded off in a delightfully smooth manner. Featuring a pleasant pucker of fruit aromas with just the slightest hint of spice, the palate is then treated to a deep and tannin-rich embrace that is reminiscent of a classic Bordeaux.

Be sure to wait until 2022 to drink this 2015 blend.

Value for Money

At $20, this is a bargain if you’re interested in buying wines for aging, as it’s an investment that will reap you many rewards when you come to drinking it.

If you’re in the mood for something more immediate, however, it might seem like a lot to pay for five years of waiting.

If you’re not interested in aging wine, therefore, it might be better to go elsewhere.

Goes Well With

Rich meat dishes, spiced stews and smoked cheeses all can be paired beautifully with this standout blend.

Conclusion

So, there you have it: our five best red blends wine to try. There is a whole world of delicious red blends to explore, and you don’t have to break the bank to find great wine - so what better time to start than right now?

Whether you’re a seasoned wine enthusiast or you’re just beginning your first collection, you’re bound to love these rich and complex grape blends. Happy drinking!

We'd love to know what you think down below. Have we missed your favorite? Don't agree with us? Join the discussion in the comments section!

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Hello from the team! We're the heartbeat of WineTurtle.com :) Working with Tim, we make sure you (the readers) get excellent wine-based content on a regular basis. Leave us a message down in the comments section and one of us (or Tim) will get back to you promptly!

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