Some of the world's most famous wines are blends of different grapes: Bordeaux (both red and white), Chianti, Rioja, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes-du-Rhône. While it can be hard to discern the different grapes in a well-made blended wine, each brings something to the mix.
Benefits of Blending In a classic Bordeaux red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon contributes body and tannin, Merlot roundness and Cabernet Franc color and aroma. Many wines from California and other New World regions are blends not only of different grapes but also of grapes from various vineyards. But certain varieties, such as Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer, are rarely blended with others.
American Blends Many American wines are actually blends, even though their labels may carry a single grape name. That's permitted if the grape makes up at least 75 percent of the blend. Many bottles labeled Merlot, for instance, are 25 percent Cabernet.