Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Are all Bordeaux wines blended?

—Kate M., Silver Spring, Md.

Dear Kate,

Let’s say that nearly all Bordeaux wines are blended, and for the most part, you can be certain that if you’re drinking a red Bordeaux or Bordeaux-style wine, the implication is that it is blended from a selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and/or Petit Verdot grapes (while Bordeaux whites are typically blends of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and/or Muscadelle).

But it’s not required that the wines of Bordeaux are blended, even though that’s certainly the spirit of the region. Unfortunately, it would require some investigating to find out for sure, as the labels rarely indicate what grape varieties are inside the bottle. However, there are exceptions to Bordeaux's blending practice, most notably the highly revered Pétrus from the Pomerol appellation on the Right Bank, which is made from 100 percent Merlot.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.