Blending Fruit and Grape Wines

“Blending is a natural procedure, honest, necessary, and in accordance with historical events.” With that quote, eminent wine authority Emile Peynaud gives us permission to play with our wines. While he was addressing grape wine in his classic Knowing and Making Wine, I think his sentiment applies even more to the wide, wonderful world of fruit wines. Grapes are among the fruits, of course, but when we say “fruit wine” we generally exclude conventional grape wine. For this “Techniques” column on blending I am extending the exercise across traditional boundaries. Why not blend wines made from grapes and other fruits? For any wine-blending project, amateur or professional, the winemaker is hoping for a better wine than the components alone. From there, however, the goals of the commercial winemaker diverge somewhat from those of us who make wine at home. For marketing purposes, the commercial winery needs a large enough quantity to be sold in wide distribution. At home, though, we can make little batches of wine just for fun. Very often, commercially blended wines are focused on creating or maintaining