• I’ve talked on occasion about blending wine. What regions have what restrictions or styles, but I’d like to take some time to elaborate.

    I think I will start with Syrah and Viognier.

    I liken this blend to the Yin and the Yang. No two wines could be more opposite yet work so well together.

    “Yin and Yang are dependent opposing forces that flow in a natural cycle, always seeking balance. Though they are opposing, they are not in opposition to one another. As part of the Tao, they are merely two aspects of a single reality.”

    –  Hoopes, Aaron (2007). Zen Yoga: A Path to Enlightenment though Breathing, Movement and Meditation.

    Viognier is a white wine, consistent and grounded with a femininity that allures you with its floral components not unlike mango tinged honeysuckle and its supple nurturing palate that is reminiscent of apricot, peach and apple.

    Syrah is the black (dark purple) wine, emboldened with spice, rich blackberry and plum fruit often reminding you of coffee, eucalyptus, mint, earth and leather.

    Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône of France commonly blends Viognier into Syrah.  Taking this once head strong occasionally chaotic spice driven wine (Syrah) and softening its tannin and acid structure while increasing its aromatics in a pleasing more complex way. Australia does the same in an homage to the Côte Rôtie whether consciously or not (the homage part not the blending part.. I’m certain they do the blending part consciously. Well at least I hope they don’t pass out whilst making wine. That could end with a crap wine and a dead wine maker.)

    If I made a blend of Syrah and Viognier I would call it Pluot.

    Wine makers don’t always get the mix right. Too much Viognier and the wine’s floral characteristics could become too powerful and the Syrah’s structure could fall to pieces, but when the wine is mixed with care and precision the outcome is a sum greater than its parts.


    – Jonathan Hood