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We receive a lot of questions from our customers about single varietal wines and blends. ‘Trend to Blend” brings you up to speed. We have put together a full product description of the Passport wine to provide you with a tool to make your decision. Our wines of the month are the well known Wine Kitz Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc, both in 5 as well in 8 weeks kits.

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Trend to Blend

blend wines

A recent article in the Seattle weekly opens with North Americans still being slaves to single varietal red wines, shying away from blends. Single varietal wines are wines made from one single variety of grape like the Cabernet Sauvignon, the Merlot, the Shiraz, the Pinot Noir the Malbec and so on. With over 10.000 grape varieties over the world that can be used to make wine, sure enough, a fair chunk of that will be red and this list could continue to fill the rest of the page. Blend wines on the other hand are made by using a mix of grape varieties.

Today, throughout the world -North America included- an increasing number of red wines are the product of two or more blended varieties. Classic archetypes like the Bordeaux, Rhône blends and Super Tuscans have been blended for up to centuries without mentioning the grapes used. A Bordeaux wine can be constructed from up to seven grapes, all up to the style the winemaker intends to create. The winemaker must use the regional varietals, if their label bare that region’s name. In New world countries with a much shorter wine history, as is the case with North America, the grape varieties are specified rather than the regions. Use of region’s name on a label promises only the origin of the grapes, not specific varietals. Interesting fact is that a Californian wine label claiming to be a Cabernet Sauvignon only has to be 75% of this varietal.

Why all the fuss

The breakthrough of blends is believed to be the next revolution in, and future of wine. Double digit growth in blended wines over the past years clearly indicate that trend. With blending, the result is not just another mix, but a wine of which the sum is greater than its parts, all winemakers agree. They tend to be much more complex and interesting, providing distinctive identity and the most complete wine experience. They can be enjoyed on their own and pair easier with food. A well assembled blend comes with a range of advantages above single varietal wines. As mentioned, more complexity, more interesting, more nuanced and more delicacy. A wine can be blended to carry lower tannins requiring less ageing and therefore quicker approachable and delicious even when still young while revealing a broader range of fruit and non-fruit characteristics. Because of their broader pallet, they will please a lot of different wine drinkers, everyone can find an aspect in the wine to love. Their enhanced smoothness, light and juicy flavors and lesser acidity all support the increased interest for blends.

To a large degree all the above applies to white wines as well.

Canada's Tom Firth, writing in WineAccess in June 2010, said, "the future of red wines does not lie in the sudden popularity of an obscure grape, but rather in the artful creation of new and unique red blends."

We carry an extensive range of over 30 rich blends for you to start your exciting adventure.

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Wine of the Month 10% off

TV Shiraz - Australia

TV Shiraz - Australia

When your day needs a flavour intervention, reach for this dry red with its aromas of blueberry and spicy oak. Smooth and inviting on the palate with flavours of blackberry, raspberry and pepper.

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UER Shiraz - Australia

UER Shiraz - Australia

This dry red’s broad appeal suits many occasions, from an impromptu BBQ to formal dinners. Full and rich on the palate, the delicious bouquet hints at dark berries, cocoa, vanilla and spice. Finishes well with soft, integrated tannins.

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TV Sauvignon Blanc

TV Sauvignon Blanc

Vibrant and fruit-forward with a subtle grassy aroma and flavours of gooseberry and fig. Refreshingly light and very dry.

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UER Sauvignon Blanc - California

UER Sauvignon Blanc - California

Supremely dry with a gorgeous yellow hue, this full-bodied favourite pours forth flavours of pea pod, gooseberry and lemon-grass with good acidity.

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Passport Series 2015 

Five world class premium toppers of extreme value and of extraordinary quality and taste. Program 2015 details: Country of Origin, region specific varietals. All kits are 18L and the Italian Brunello Style and the Chilean Volcanic Red are 16L with a 2L grape skin pack. Labels are included. Our pre-order deadline for all Passport series is November 20th. Kits come nicely staggered from Dec 2014 – Mar 2015

Wine Bottle

Pinot Noir Sonoma Valley, California

THE WINE
Light bodied with soft aromas of cherry, vanilla, and earthy undertones. On the palate bold flavours of red and black cherry and strawberry are balanced by a touch of mellow spice. This fruity and bright wine is ruby in colour with a smooth, satisfying finish.

THE REGION
Sonoma Valley is the largest wine growing region in Sonoma County. Bordered to the west by the Sonoma Mountains and the Mayacamas Mountains on the east, the valley is open from north to south, allowing cool air to flow down from the Pacific Ocean and up from the San Pablo Bay. Sonoma Valley is a diverse region with steep mountains, rolling bench lands, fertile plains, cool coastal fog and an abundance of warm California sunshine. It is known for its Pinot Noir which ripens to delicate perfection in the cooler areas close to the San Francisco Bay.

THE FOOD
Light enough to pair with salmon but complex enough to pair with meats such as duck. Enjoy with pizza, any mushroom based dishes or with cheeses such as Camembert or Gruyère.

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Wine Bottle

Volcanic Red Curicó Valley Chile

THE WINE
Three classic Chilean varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot make this bold, full bodied blend erupting with sweet fruit flavours from the Cabernet Sauvignon, spicy and earthy notes from the Carménère, rounded out with soft fruit and chocolate notes from the Merlot. Deep red, smooth and balanced, with a lingering finish.

THE REGION
The Curicó Valley is located in the Central Valley, south of Chile’s capital Santiago. The Mediterranean climate of hot days and cool humid nights is very beneficial for the development of flavour and aroma in the wines. The region’s soil is composed of limestone and volcanic rock from the Andes, deposited in the valley over time by the rivers. The combination of the climate and soil are ideal for growing all three varieties found in the Volcanic Red.

THE FOOD
Serve with roasted or grilled meats such as lamb, beef or chicken. Indian curry, mushroom risotto, or Spanish Paella are also great matches. Try cheeses like blue or other hard cheeses such as Asiago with this bold Chilean blend.

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Wine Bottle

Pinot Gris Willamette Valley Oregon

THE WINE
Look for aromatics of lemon, green apple and subtle floral notes with flavours of fresh-cut pear, mango and tropical fruits. Medium body with a pale straw colour, Oregon’s Pinot Gris boasts zesty acidity balanced by a slight sweetness and lingering finish.

THE REGION
Willamette Valley is the largest wine growing region in Oregon and is surrounded by the Columbia River, the Oregon Coast Range, and the Cascade Mountains. The valley is mild year-round and has the perfect climate for this delicate cool-weather white, the most popular white varietal grown in the valley. Winters are typically cool and wet, summers are dry and warm. There is enough sunlight and warmth for ripening, but the cool evenings help prevent over-ripening, keeping the fruit fresh and true to style.

THE FOOD
Opt for fresh salmon, halibut steaks or shrimp with your Oregon Pinot Gris. A more adventurous match would be spicy curry or Thai noodle dishes or enjoy on its own lightly chilled.

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Wine Bottle

Petit Verdot Yakima Valley, Washington

THE WINE
Traditionally used in Bordeaux blends to give colour and aromatics, Petit Verdot produces a bold, well-structured wine on its own. Expect intense colour and aromas of vanilla, cedar and smoke, followed by ripe cherry and blackberry flavours. This full bodied wine has warm undertones of mocha, firm tannins, and a rich and robust finish.

THE REGION
Located in the southern centre of the state, just across from the Cascade Mountains, Yakima Valley is home to some of Washington’s oldest vineyards. With a balance of warm days, cool nights, and controlled water, the Yakima Valley produces fully mature fruit. The valley receives less than 150mm of rain per year so the vines rely on irrigation which growers can control, resulting in fruit with great concentration and flavour.

THE FOOD
Experiment with barbequed lamb chops, pork spare ribs, duck, filet mignon and other rich meats. Hearty casseroles and mature hard cheeses such as Parmigiano, Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano also pair well.

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Wine Bottle

Brunello Style Montalcino Italy

THE WINE
An elegant wine made from Sangiovese grapes with a deep garnet hue, full body and velvety texture. Aromas of leather, cranberry, tobacco, and rich flavours of ripe cherry with a hint of earthiness define this classic Italian wine style. Smooth tannins and ripe fruit driven characteristics make this well balanced with a silky finish.

THE REGION
Located 120km south of Florence, Montalcino is one of the warmest and driest regions within Tuscany, receiving just 700mm of rain on average per year. Montalcino is a small medieval village in the Province of Siena, with the wine district centred to the northeast of the village in wooded and hilly terrain. Vineyards are planted on both the north and south facing slopes: vines on the northern slopes ripen slower, producing racier and more aromatic fruit, while the increased sun exposure on the southern slopes lends more power and complexity to the fruit. Together this yields fruit unique to the region.

THE FOOD
Enjoy with Tuscany’s famous grilled steak Florentine, marinated and grilled portobello mushrooms or a rich beef ragu over pappardelle pasta. A charcuterie platter of cured meats and a mix of hard cheeses is also a perfect match.

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