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Non-Grape Blends

 Country (non-grape) wines can be combined to create a blend that is better than the sum of its parts. More and more savvy winemakers are discovering an unexpected similarity between grape and non-grape wines. The best wines are invariably blends. A great many varietal grape and non-grape wines lack depth, breadth and complexity. Blending not only produces an almost endless flow of integrated flavors, at its best it matches attributes that both complement and build upon one another. We need to define our terms up front. When we say blend, we mean to combine two or more finished wines into one. We do not mean to combine ingredients and ferment them together, although that is a widely-practiced procedure. As a prolific non-grape winemaker, I can attest that many blends are the product of necessity rather than planning. A particular wine might not turn out as hoped. It lacked something that another wine possessed. (And when those two were combined, they lacked something a third wine provided.) Blending trials allow winemakres to discover a blend that creates a wine far greater