What is coupage and its relationship with wine

The terminology in the wine sector is rich and varied. When you decide to start in this exciting world, you need to know some basic concepts that will make your experience more enriching. He blend It’s one of those words you’ll start hearing right off the bat. Do you know what it is? We explain everything you need to know about this ancient technique of winemaking.

what is the blend

Coupage is a term of French origin which alludes to the combination of grapes or wines of different varieties to achieve more complex ones or with the characteristics that the oenologist wants to highlight in the resulting wine. It is the art of mixing wines.

There are various versions of the origin of this custom, which even goes back to the Phoenicians. In France the word blend acquires a pejorative tone, since it has been related in past times to the picaresque to pass an inferior wine for another of good quality. There the use of the word is preferred assembly. In Spanish we also have the word assemblage to refer to the mixture of musts, although the use of blend it is widespread without any negative connotation.

There are various techniques for making wine. blend and are the winemakers those who are in charge of deciding the types of vines, the time of assembly and the concentration of each type of wine. This results in the personality and qualities of the resulting wine..

He blend It is a widely extended technique that allows us to enjoy a wide variety of references that would be unthinkable without extracting from each variety its best qualities. Surely there is more than one in your wine cellar that is among your favorite wines.

Types blend

There are different types of blend that are determined by the production areas, the knowledge of each winemaker and even the regulations in force for each Denomination of Originwhich establish the minimum percentages of the dominant varieties that must appear in their wines.

First of all, it is advisable to know that a wine can be considered monovarietal if it contains at least 85% grape of a single variety. Although there are stricter Denominations of Origin with respect to this percentage. For example, him albariño must come from 100% of this variety to be certified.

Therefore, a wine blend comes from the mixture of two or more grape varieties. In fact, some wine-growing areas make these blends with up to six varieties, as is the case with Bordeaux or some ports.

Coupage according to the type of grape

If we look at the type of grape, we can find blend of red varieties, of white varieties or that mix red and white grapes. This mixture of red and white is common in the production of clarets, rosés and red wines.

Coupage of different varieties

Also called blend classic. It is the result of combining grapes of different varieties in a variable percentage according to the oenologist’s criteria and if it is a wine with Designation of Origin, following its regulations.

Example of this type of blend are the wines of Ribera del Duero that must have a concentration of Tempranillo of at least three quarters. For its part, the classic blend of wines Rioja It is based on a combination of Tempranillo with varieties such as Mazuelo or Graciano.

Coupage of different vintages

It is used to complement the advantageous characteristics of each vintage or when a vintage has not been as good as expected. This technique cannot be applied to wines with Denomination of Originwhich can mix different grape varieties, but not different vintages.

Coupage same variety

It is the result of combining wines of the same variety, but that have grapes with different qualities that come together to improve the resulting wine. The grape can come from different areas even if they are of the same variety.

What is the technique of blend in relation to wine

When making a blend different techniques can be used. To choose the best moment and the ideal concentrations of each wine different samples are taken and tests are made until the idea wine is configured. It is important to master the characteristics of each variety well in order to give personality to each wine

It is customary to first make the wines that will serve as a base to the blend and after the different tastings and pairing tests, the wines are assembled. The final wine is finished assembling in depositswines without aging or in cask.

He blend It is a practice that is increasingly widespread for the preparation of “signature” wines and wines taught by the winerieswho with these genuine and original mixtures manage to differentiate themselves from their competitors, increase quality and print a personal seal in his wine creations.

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