Red Wine Tasting

Start exploring the wonderful world of red wine in this 90 minute tasting session.

White Wine Tasting

Begin your journey into the depths of the white wines of the world in this 90 minute tasting session.

Climate Tasting

Journey across the world with this 90 minute horizontal tasting session showing how different grape growing climates can affect the final wine. 

Your Account

Log in to your account to see any upcoming experiences.


To Blend or Not to Blend?

Myth: Blended wines are inferior quality

There’s a lot of controversy and snobbery over the quality of blended wines vs. single-varietal wines, but is that warranted or not in the world of winemaking?

Blending grape varieties allows a winemaker more control over certain aspects of the final wine such as the balance, the tannins and the complexity. 

If you were to look in the supermarket (or your local wine shop) you might commonly find that Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with Merlot, and that Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre are blended and often referred to as a GSM. A combination of those 5 grape varieties can also be found in what’s known as a Bordeaux Blend.  A classic Australian red blend would be combination of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

So if we look at Cabernet Sauvignon, why does that blend well with Merlot? Well, Cabernet Sauvignon grows best in moderate and warm climates, albeit on the warmest of sites in moderate climates, and because it has thick skins it needs a long growing season to ripen fully. Single-variety Cabernet Sauvignon is typically dry, high in acidity and high in tannins, however when blended with Merlot it can help soften out the tannins and acidity levels in a Cabernet Sauvignon, this is can be particularly important in the moderate climates where a cooler vintage may mean the grapes struggled to ripen.

Can you buy high quality and expensive blends?

Yes! A Pavillion Rouge du Chateau Margaux 2017 is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, where the Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine an exceptionally long finish whilst the Merlot largely contributes to Pavillon Rouge’s soft, fruity aromatic expression. 

A bottle of this Cabernet-based blended wine can set you back £197! Chateau Margaux has earned the classification of a Premier Grand Cru Classé which is widely considered to be a strong indication of quality within the sub-region of Bordeaux.

So if you’ve got a spare £200 hiding down the side of the sofa, then pop across to Laithwaites and pick up a bottle of this Chateau Margaux!