Last Updated: October 12, 2022
Most people have a preference when it comes to red or white wine, but if you’re one of the lucky few who enjoys all kinds of wine then you might have thought to yourself, "can you mix red and white wine?" or even "should you mix red and white wine?"
The good news is mixing red and white wine is perfectly acceptable and even beneficial if you’re looking to expand your palate. But mixing red and white in the same glass can be a different story.
Truthfully, any wine connoisseur would disagree with mixing wine. If you really want to maintain the original quality and taste of the wine, then mixing it with any other drink is not the way to go. Many wine enthusiasts would even argue that you can’t mix two kinds of red wine together let alone mix red wine with white wine.
The question, "can you mix white and red wine?", is another topic though. If you’re not concerned with the opinions of the wine elites of the world, then you can do whatever you want with your wine. Whether it’s enjoying your favorite red-white wine mix or adding ice to your wine on a hot summer’s day, I say, "do whatever floats your boat".
In fact, wine mixing actually has a long history in terms of cultivating and developing new kinds of wine.
In order to discover and taste new varieties of wine, grapes are crossbred to create new species which results in different kinds of wine. This practice has become even more popular in distilleries around the world where the climate might not be ideal for growing certain kinds of grapes and thus producing popular wines.
So if wine distillers are allowed to mix breeds of grapes, I don’t see why you can’t mix red and white wine.
Fun Fact: If you are new to wine mixing, then you might consider joining a verified and trusted wine club! Are wine clubs a good deal? Most probably but you wouldn't know until you join one. 🙂
When Not To Mix Red And White Wine
Aside from the obvious looks of confusion you’ll get in a bar when you order a glass of red and white and chuck them together, there are other more notable reasons why you should not mix red and white wine on certain occasions.
Many wines come with food pairings, for example, a merlot complements red meat like steak whereas a pinot grigio goes well with seafood like sea bass or lobster.
If you’ve been recommended a certain wine with your meal or are hosting a dinner party, you would be better off sticking with a tried and tested wine pairing instead of experimenting with mixing wine. This could really throw off the taste of your meal. There are exceptions to the rule, though. Not every rule in wine mixing is engraved in stone so you are free to get creative with your wine mixes. Let's take noodles as one example to go with your wine mix.
If you are into pasta, like experimenting with wine mixes and food, have great friends that support your "craftiness" in wine mixing, and just like to have FUN, then concoct your own mix and sell this idea to your group of friends as the best wine with spaghetti they'd ever taste!
When Can You Mix Wine?
Just like how there are times when mixing wine can be problematic, there are also times when it is the answer to all your wine worries. You can actually mix wine to save a wine that is about to expire or to neutralize a particular taste that you are not fond of. Normally you prefer doing the latter more often than the former since you can just drink either red wine or white wine AS IS. However, for neutralizing something (i.e. food) to make it more palatable, mixing wine is a necessity.
For example, you are about to serve raw fish (i.e. sushi) to guests who never had tried this dish before. There are two things you can do: one, you can invite them for a quick dine-in at any local Japanese restaurant so that you can gauge if they like eating raw fish, or two, you could try mixing red and white wine, test drink it while eating raw fish, and then tell your guests beforehand about your plans for sushi dine-in at your place.
If your guests agree to the second option, then you can concoct your own "brand" of sushi wine pairing to add the needed "zing" to your food. Although either red or white wine would do fine with sushi, you can push further the envelope - so to speak - and get more creative with your red and white wine mix. Your guests will adore you for your efforts: just make sure you inform them prior to the dine-in date so that they'll know what to expect!
Another example would be, for instance, you’ve bought an expensive red but the acidity is just far too high for your palate. Mixing it, however, with a sweet white could make it drinkable and even agreeable to you.
Say that expensive red has been open for a few days and you’re worried the taste will be off the next time you pour a glass, well you can go ahead and mix a sharp white with that red wine and you’ll be far more satisfied with the results.
Having said that, blending red together with white wine is a tricky business and it’s easy to go wrong.
For example, mixing a sweet red dessert wine with a dry white wine isn’t always the answer when it comes to balancing out the sweetness. If you don’t get the right blend, you end up with essentially watered-down red wine which is never agreeable, even for the least fussy of palates.
Tips For Mixing Red And White Wine
Below are some tips to consider when planning to concoct your own red and white wine mixes:
Think About Portions
You also need to be aware of how much of each wine to add. Whereas you could just go with 50/50 for your red and white mix, it’s better to try different servings to find the best blend, much like when making a cocktail or mixing wine with orange juice to make sangria.
You don’t want to overpower a smooth red wine with a very sweet white wine so it’s better to add a smaller amount of the wine with stronger flavors or notes.
A good example is mixing 80% of Chardonnay with 20% of Grenache which effectively preserves the flavors of both creating a desirable mix. When it comes to creating your own blend, you might have to try different servings to find the perfect combination but don’t just assume you can mix any amount of red and white wine together and get a great result every time.
We also have to consider food in the mix, as well. Food complements wine and not the other way around so there can only be a good mix balance if both food and wine were present. Take for example pork tenderloin wine pairing that requires meticulous taste testing of wine mixes to properly pair itself with the juiciness of the pork or even neutralize it! It's not always focused on wines alone but rather a combination of both food and different wine concoctions that make wine mixing a winner.
Fun Fact: Wine naturally goes well with beef. Wine pairing with beef stew is one example of how food and wine make a perfect pair! Just follow the tips stated and you're good to go.
The best way to find the right portion size is to start with a small amount of your less noteworthy wine.
For example, if you are blending a Sauvignon Blanc with a bolder Pinot Noir, it's best to start with a small amount of the white wine and slowly add small amounts of the red. Mix after you add and taste to see if the taste satisfies your desires. If not, go ahead and add a bit more until you reach that sweet spot.
If you end up with a full glass that still doesn’t have the right flavor, it’s probably best to try different wines together. Another way to balance out the flavors is by adding sparkling water or orange juice to reduce or increase sweetness. Think about all the other flavors you get in a mulled wine or sangria just by adding extra ingredients.
Stick To What You Know
This might sound obvious but it’s important to stick to mixing wines that you know well instead of mixing two wines that you’ve just discovered.
If you are already familiar with the tastes of your favorite red and white, it will be much easier to decide how much of each one you should add to your mix. You’ll also be able to tell which flavors you like from each wine and know when you’ve found the taste you’re looking to create.
Nevertheless, just because you like red and white wine, doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the perfect partners.
If you’ve already tried mixing your favorites together and found that the taste is just off, then choose one and do some research. Find a partner wine that can provide the taste you are looking for when it’s added to your favorite cabernet sauvignon or even a sparkling wine for special occasions.
Taste Test: Sometimes it takes patience and courage to inquire what your guests would like to have as drinks. We would like to assist by pointing you to an article we wrote specifically for these types of "choosy" guests. Proceed here -- The Best Wine For People Who Don't Like Wine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will mixing red and white wine make me sick?
No. Contrary to popular belief mixing drinks, including mixing red and white wine, does not necessarily make you ill.
You might have heard the common misconception that mixing alcohol will result in vomiting and a severe hangover. The reality is that mixing drinks often ends badly because we tend to forget how many drinks we’ve had, resulting in overconsumption.
Although you can mix wine, you should stick to the daily recommended limit and only pour yourself a usual 175 ml or 250 ml glass of wine, even when you are putting two wines together, so as not to increase the alcohol content. Using a measuring cup also helps you to add portions of wine slowly without overfilling your wine glass.
Can you mix white and red wine to make rosé?
No. Although many would have thought that the pink wine, rosé, is just the result of blending red and white wine, in fact, rosé wine comes purely from red grapes, not white grapes as many people commonly believe.
The difference between red wine and rosé is that rosé wines are stained red for just a few hours to create that pink color, whereas the red grape skins used for red wines ferment for weeks at a time, creating that deep bold red.
Mixing red and white wine can be a tricky business but if you find the blend that works for you, you won’t regret trying it. All in all, there is no reason why you shouldn’t mix wines together. If you are looking to experiment, then it is a great way to get to know the real taste of your favorite wine first to bring out the desired texture you have in mind.
If you find yourself with a bottle of red and white wine and think these two would taste great together, then why not create your own concoction? After all, it is the new taste that matters, and not the color combination of the mixed wines.