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Simple Explanation: Mixing Red and White Wine [Tested]

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There is a misconception that mixing red and white wine will produce a rose wine, but that is not at all the case. Taking individual red and white wines and mixing them will create a blend that is either intentional or for cooking, and this needs a simple explanation. 

Mixing red and white wine is called blending. The blending of white and red wine will not create a rose wine but rather a rosy-colored wine with a lower quality. Professional blending can create great wines. Mixing red and white wine is commonly used when cooking. 

Mixing red and white wine will not always produce a great-tasting combination. If you mix sweet with dry wine, the taste could be revolting. The art of mixing red and white wine should be carefully considered and tested. We look at how it is done and why with a simple explanation. 

What Happens If You Mix Red And White Wine?
What Happens If You Mix Red And White Wine?

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What Happens If You Mix Red And White Wine?

Blending is the term for what happens when you mix white and red wine. You will create a mix of the white wine profile and the red wine profile, but you will not be creating a rose wine. Rose wine is made from a grape macerated in the skin to obtain the pink shade. 

Blending wine is done for varying reasons and usually to finalize or finish a wine. A few other reasons for mixing red and white wine are:

  • To get rid of problem wines that cannot reach a stable taste profile
  • To establish a signature wine
  • To change the wine chemistry
  • To heighten and accentuate the terroir of the wine
  • Reduce or improve characteristics
  • To maintain an inventory track record
  • To balance overly oak dominant flavors
  • To maintain overall consistency in vineyard production levels.

When professionals mix or blend red and white wines, it is usually done under controlled conditions and continuously tested. They would know which are the best profiles to mix with and how much of each variety is needed and not simply mix wines blindly. 

When you mix red and white wines without the correct knowledge, you lower the wine quality instantly. Lower-priced store-bought wines will not give you a world-class blend. There is a chance you might improve the wine profile, but you need to know how how much to use and how to do it right. 

An essential aspect of blending is finding a suitable base. A Pinot Noir is a winning choice for a red wine base, and for a white wine base, a Chardonnay is an excellent choice. The most famous blend that stems from these two grape types is Champagne.

Suffice to say, you won’t be able to create a Champagne in your basement or kitchen, but at least these two wines will be a complimentary mix. 

Mixing Red and White Wine For Cooking

So you have a little bit of white wine left in the fridge, and you’re cooking a seafood dish. Not sure if the wine has been there for more than a week, then rather refrain from using it. Instead of enriching the dish, the meal may become acidic and ruined. 

As a known rule of thumb, if you enjoy drinking a specific wine, it will also taste good in a meal. The only thing to remember is that wine oxidizes fast after being opened and should be consumed or used in 5 to 7 days if it is re-corked and stored correctly.

If the wine has gone bad in the bottle, it will be bad in the food. Selected red and white sparkling wines can also be used in cooking even after it has gone flat. It is excellent to use in dishes like risotto as it will mirror a dry white wine. 

The unspoken secret to cooking with wine is to use it sparingly. If your hand is heavy on the wine, the dish can become unbalanced, and the wine flavors might be too dominant instead of complimentary. Add a little wine at a time, taste the dish and adjust accordingly. 

A Chardonnay or Pinot Gris is the preferred white wine to make delectable creamy sauces over white meats, or a Rhine Riesling goes well with fish, pork, chicken, and seafood. 

A Pinot Noir is a great red wine for pork, salmon, mushroom, and Merlot. Cabernet or Shiraz is preferred when cooking a Bolognese, Osso Bucco, or classic fillets. 

Aged red wines are better for cooking instead of using newly bottled reds, and high tannin levels will make the wine overpowering. 

Several recipes call for mixing red and white wine, but there is no rule. The best suggestion is to experiment or try out these fantastic tested recipes. 

TIP: Check out the 7 common reasons why your wine turns brown and how to fix it in this article I wrote.

Mixing Red And White Wine For Drinking

When thinking about drinking wine, you might have favorites and try to stick to specific blends, grapes, wineries, or regional wines, but what about mixing red and white wines to create a new concoction?  

Here are some tips for blending wine like a pro so that you don’t spoil or waste the good stuff. These tips can fail, but there is no fail-safe way to do it; testing is vital so here goes:

  • Don’t Mix Everything At Once

This is not a college party experiment, so a bit of finesse is required. Start by mixing the two wines part for part. Take a small measuring cup and increase the amounts to lean more toward the taste profile you are looking for.

  • Know The Wines You Want To Mix

Please get to know the wines you prefer by testing them and identifying different taste and aroma profiles. Take a small, deliberate sip and swirl it around in your mouth to get the whole experience. What you want out of a mix is compatibility. 

  • Start With A Good Base of Wine 

Choosing the best wine base to mix from is critical. If the base of the wine is stable and has a tremendous stable profile, the mix will produce more enhanced flavors. Be selective of the base you choose, as it will need to be a go-to staple. 

  • Pick A Blending Partner Wine 

Now the real work starts; pick a white if your base is red or a red if you chose white wine as a base that will complement it. If the red or white is dry, stick with a dry partner. 

Wines that are aged will mix and blend well with younger wines, while native wines blend well together. Having this in mind will assist you in making a successful mix. 

  • Write Down The Process

Although this might sound like back to school, writing down a recipe for a successful wine mix – even if it’s in your kitchen – will allow you to recreate it at any time. A written or typed out recipe for wine mixing guarantees the same result every time. 

As mentioned before, mix slowly and with purpose until you’ve created your masterpiece. That is unless you’re at the end of two bottles of wine and decide to mix it to fill a glass. In that case, you’ll have to accept the result. 

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What is Red and White Wine Mixed Called?

What is Red and White Wine Mixed Called?
What is Red and White Wine Mixed Called?

The mixing of red and white wine is called blending. It is a common practice in the wine industry and creates some of the finest wines available. The blending of wine is usually done to create a broad taste profile and a superior flavor to using a single grape. 

The most famous and well-known wine regions in the world that have perfected wine blending are:

  • South Africa
  • Champagne 
  • Australia
  • Rioja
  • Vista Flores
  • Bordeaux 
  • California

The vintners of these regions are masters of blending and utilize many techniques to perfect the wines we enjoy. 

To create the perfect blend means the vintner must know everything there is to know about each grape, the terroir, and the end result. 

The most prominent blending techniques are:

  • Combining wines from different grape varieties like a Syrah. This blends their characteristics and flavor identities. 
  • Combining wines from different vintages. This blending method holds many advantages for the winery as it reduces the chance of a decline in a taste profile or quality. 

Fortified wines are typically produced using these processes by combining different varieties from different years; they achieve incredible results.

Vintners have years of experience creating the ultimate blend, and it doesn’t happen overnight. They combine tasting and technical analysis to assist in the blending process.

By using technology in blending, vintners can assess the measurable properties in wine, such as:

  • Sweetness
  • Acidity
  • ABV 

And by the using quantitative measurements, they assess the following characteristics:

  • Tannins
  • Flavor
  • Complexity
  • Balance

Typically different grape harvests will be processed entirely separately, and then once ready, they will be blended together. They grow them in separate vineyards. Harvesting, fermentation, and barrel aging are typically done separately for most blends.

Popular blends can also originate from vineyards that are far removed from one another and only come together once all the relevant tests have been conducted.

These wines will be tested and tasted separate. Then, once stable, the blending will commence either in the middle or at the end of the aging process.

Some blends may be fermented together and then finished during the fining process. Once the blending is finalized, the wine is bottled immediately. 

A great mix to make will always be the Sangria – a classic party offering originating from the early Romans from Italy through Spain and Portugal. Usually, this drink contains a red wine base and various liquors such as Triple Sec and brandy and is fortified using oranges and spices. 

Here is a recipe on how to mix one using blended red and white wines: 

The ingredients for a Sangria:

  • A large jug that can take the contents of two bottles of wine
  • A blended red wine
  • A blended white wine 
  • Sparkling water or Seltzer 
  • Fruit and fresh mint for garnishing 
  • Glucose syrup or sugar
  • Cranberry or other berry fruit juice
  • Ice blocks or crushed ice

How to mix the Sangria:

  • Start by filling the container 1/3rd of the way with ice
  • Add the bottle of red wine
  • Add the bottle of white wine
  • Pour in a measure of glucose syrup or half a cup of sugar and stir to dissolve.
  • Add sparkling water or Seltzer to create a carbonated Sangria
  • Add the fruit juice and stir well
  • Pour into a testing glass to check the sweetness and carbonation. Adjust the taste as needed
  • Garnish with fruit and mint 
  • Serve at will

TIP: To learn how to store white wine after opening, check out this article I wrote. To discover if wine fridges are only for storing white wine, check out this complete guide I wrote. And for a complete breakdown of how to store wine long-term in 8 simple steps, you need to read this guide I wrote.

Why You Shouldn’t Mix Red and White Wine

There has been this adage that white and red wines should not be mixed or drunk together, and if you do, white wines are always served first. The belief is that the lighter-bodied wines are less heavy on the body and constitution and proverbially pave the way for red wines after.

However, there is no pure science to verify or corroborate such a statement. A folk tale says beer before spirits will make you sicker than spirits before beer – or wine – but it ultimately depends on the person. 

Red wines are bolder in taste, flavor, and palate, so the suggestion to first drink white wine is not necessarily a rule but stems from experience. White wines are more delicate and typically have a higher acidity, whereas reds have more tannins. 

Even if you don’t mix the wines in the same glass, this is how you should serve wines beginning with the youngest wines to the oldest:

  • Aperitif 
  • Dry white wine
  • Semi-sweet white wine
  • Sweet white wine
  • Dry red wine
  • Sweet red wine

Food pairing with wine is as much an art form as the dish itself. Great wines paired with delectable dishes, whether red or white, aim to complement the meal, and sommeliers and chefs pride themselves in presenting what they believe are the best pairings. 

In France, there is a custom – when serving foie gras as a starter, it is typically paired with sauternes. Sauternes is a sweet, full-bodied white wine from Bordeaux, a famous wine region in France.  

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Conclusion

Nothing puts a damper on any adventure like draconian societal rules. Mixing drinks or mixology perfects the art of mixing liqueurs, spirits, and the most creative cocktails and long drinks come to light.

The same rule applies to wines; if your palate and constitution can handle a homemade mix or blend of red and white wines, then by all means. If your palate is a little more refined, there are expert blends you can buy off the shelf to enjoy. 

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