California Red Blends
Some of California's finest wines are blends of black grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This classic combination was inspired by the red blends of Bordeaux where other grapes are added to the dominant Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to create a more complex and polished wine. Another popular California red blend combines Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, inspired by the popular blend of France's Rhone Valley.
Key Regions For California Red Blends
Napa Valley is the most famous source of top quality California red blends thanks to its warm and dry summer days and huge variety of microclimates and soil types. The region is generally divided into the valley floor, which tends to be warmer and produces richer, riper red blends, and the hillsides where cooler conditions create more elegant and refined reds. Famous Napa sub-regions for California red blend wine include Rutherford, Stags Leap District, St Helena, and Oakville. Sonoma County, Carneros and Paso Robles are also important regions for both Bordeaux-style and Rhone-style red blends.
Food Pairings For California Red Blends
The best California red blends are typically full-bodied with luscious dark fruit flavours and high tannins, so they pair especially well with hearty red meat dishes. Good options include rich beef stews, a prime ribeye steak, venison, or lasagne.