Many wine connoisseurs, along with a few old traditional wine-drinking myths, will tell you – pick a few favorites and stick to them to be enjoyed on different occasions. Some avid wine drinkers might even consider mixing red and white wine on the same evening, or even worse, in the same glass, as total blasphemy! But is this indeed the case?
Can you as a wine drinker who enjoys both red and white wines mix your favorites? In which order should you drink your favorites? What does this mixture taste like? More importantly, would this combination give you a severe hangover or make you sick? Read on as we discover the answers to some of your most popular wine mixing questions.
Can You Mix Red and White Wine?
Despite wine-drinking traditions, there’s actually no scientific evidence to prohibit you from mixing red and white wine. This is quite often because mixing contrasting wines create sharper, tastier flavors.
Whether you choose to serve them separately during your meal or use the same glass is entirely up to your personal preference! Let’s delve into a few of the common concerns wine drinkers have with mixing red and white wine.
Why Is Drinking White and Red Wine Together Considered Taboo?
Traditionally the theory that red and white wine shouldn’t be mixed or drank together on the same evening, stems from red and white wines being assigned to different meals. Some cultural and social settings frown upon mixing these two favorites.
This can be confusing if both red and white meat is being served. The good news is, it’s becoming more common and less frowned upon to enjoy both red and white wine in the same evening!
What Does a Mixture of Red and White Wine Taste Like?
Due to the infinite amount of white and red options, each with its own unique blends, there’s no exact way to tell how a mixture of the two will taste. It goes without saying that no two mixtures will taste the same. You’re looking at ages, varietals, oak levels, tannin levels, grape combinations – the list that determines flavors are almost endless.
For the most part, it depends on individual combinations and dominant flavors. Since reds are bolder than crisp whites, you’re likely to end up with a slightly diluted red.
Also, since red wines have a higher concentration of tannins, reds will almost always dominate the white flavor. An aged, quality Chardonnay may easily prevail over a younger, lighter red.
Is it Bad to Mix Red and White Wine?
Essentially, it’s not “bad” to mix wines. The only real effect will be the taste of the wine. If you’re mixing both wines in the same glass, expect a different flavor profile from what you’re used to. As we’ve mentioned earlier, reds can be overpowering, and whites can add a drier touch to the mixture.
Many people who enjoy drinking more than one wine type in one sitting, live by a general rule of thumb that dictates the following order:
- Bubbles (Champagne and sparkling wines)
- Lights before full-bodied wines
- Young vintages before old
- Dry before sweet
- Fragrant white wines before oaky white wine options
The reason for the rule is, you’ll want to enjoy lighter-bodied wines first to enjoy the full palate. It makes sense to drink full-bodied wines with bold, high tannins last as these are the reds with the strongest flavors.
It’s important to note that regardless of the various varietal, red wines will always leave a thicker taste in your mouth. Drinking a white wine after a red will spoil the flavor of the white completely, so always opt to enjoy your favorite red last!
Does Mixing Wines Cause a Hangover?
Wine doesn’t generally cause hangovers unless you drink A LOT. There’s also no exact proof that a mixture of the two will definitely cause you a hangover. What it comes down to is the amount of alcohol you drink rather than the types of drinks you consume.
When it comes to getting a hangover from wine, it’s important to understand why. The chemical, Acetaldehyde, is a byproduct your body produces while metabolizing ethanol. Drinks, such as wine, have higher levels of Acetaldehyde and can cause headaches and hangovers.
It actually has nothing to do with the color of the wine but rather the amount of Acetaldehyde in the wine. So, in short, 5 glasses or red is equivalent to one glass of red and 4 glasses of white. Or vice versa.
Can You Drink Red and White Wine in the Same Night?
One of the reasons people believe that you shouldn’t drink red and white wine on the same night is that it might make you sick or cause a hangover.
The reality is many winemakers often blend red and white wines or even their grapes to create a whole new flavor profile. With this in mind, it indicates there’s no harm in drinking red and white wine on the same night.
Will Mixing Wines Make You Sick?
Many avid wine drinkers believe the old myth that mixing wines will make you sick. This possibly stems from the notion that mixing different alcoholic drinks, with different alcohol contents can make the drinker very ill.
It’s important to note though that the wine will only make you sick if you drink an extensive amount of it. In this instance, it doesn’t really matter what the color or type of wine it is. Mixing white with red will also not generally make you ill.
But drinking a large quantity of wine could result in a hangover or even a headache. Just remember, this would happen whether you drink a large amount of red, white or a combination of the two.
Can I Drink White Wine After Red?
A general rule of thumb for blending your wine choices comes down to serving white before red. The reason for this is due to the sweeter flavors of white wines. It’s also a preferred idea to serve younger wines before older vintages. Following this rule generally preserves enough flavor for you to enjoy both wines.
Once again, this rule can be subject to change, depending on the dish being served. So, in short, it depends on what you’re eating with the wine and what your personal preference is.
Can You Drink Red Wine and White Mixed Together?
If you drank sodas as a kid, you might have wondered what it would be like if mixed your two favorite options together. You might even have done it and either discovered a delicious new drink or you might have spat out a mouthful of something that was too sweet or too bitter.
For many wine drinkers, simply drinking one color before or after the other is as much wine mixing as they’ll do. Other wine aficionados on the other hand want to be a little more adventurous and actually mix the red and white together, thereby enjoying the best of both!
Tips for Blending Red and White Wines
Is it as simple as pouring them both in the same glass? Deciding to combine two of your expensive wines could result in two scenarios – one is where you create a delicious new blend to enjoy, while the other scenario involves a bitter taste and wasted wine.
This mixing of red and white wines is often referred to as blending and is quite common in winemaking. To avoid the latter scenario mentioned above, it helps to know a few expert blending tips.
- Start with small doses: Deciding to blend your favorite red and white doesn’t all of a sudden make you an expert winemaker! It’s important to test your combinations before you waste entire bottles of wine. Instead of regular wine glass servings, measure out smaller, tot glass-sized portions and try out your new combination without wasting too much of the good stuff.
- Do your research: Do some research on the flavors you’re considering mixing. You don’t have to be a sommelier, but it’s important to know the strengths and weaknesses of each wine. This way you’ll have an idea of which flavors are overpowering.
- Select a base: Once you’re familiar with your wine options, it’s time to choose the base of your blend. Our experts recommend you choose the weaker of your options. Your base wine can also be the wine that you’ve left open for too long. Since your base wine will be the bulk of your blend, it’s important for it to not be the most overpowering.
- Select a flavorful partner: When it comes to choosing a partner for your blend, opt for one that counteracts any unpleasantness in the base. It helps to know that aged wines pair well with younger options. This might be a good place to start when looking for wines to play around with during mixing.
- Start the process slowly: Don’t rush this part of the process. Start by pouring one porting of your base wine into your glass. Add small measures of the partner wine into your glass in small increments. Mix gently and take a small sip to check the combination. In order to recreate the perfect taste be sure to make notes of the various portion sizes.
- Test food pairings: It’s a good idea to test different red & white combinations with a variety of different meals, even while cooking at home. That way you’ll get an idea of what works best, and you won’t look like a novice when you’re mixing red and whites on your night out! Practicing your blends with food pairings is a great way to figure out what you’ll want to drink when there is a combination of meats on offer.
Can you mix red and white wine? The good news is, yes you can! Aside from being able to drink red and white wine on the same evening (or during the day if you prefer), you can also mix your own favorites to create a delicious new blend. Try to get the best of both worlds!
While there are general rules for enjoying white and red wines together when you’re in a professional taste setting, these rules don’t really apply when you’re enjoying a night out with a variety of meals on offer.
Choose a wine combination that complements your food and tantalizes your palate. Don’t let a bunch of old wine myths stop you from enjoying your favorites in a way that creates a new and unique flavor!