Mixing Drinks 101: Can You Mix Red And White Wine?

can you mix red and white wine
Joe | Last Updated: October 21, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

Ever stood in front of your wine rack, unable to decide between red or white? Today, we’re tackling a bit of a controversial question in the world of bartending and wine enthusiasts: Can you mix red and white wine?

Now, before any wine purists out there faint in horror, let’s make one thing clear. We’re not about doing things ‘just because’.

We’re about experimenting, learning, and above all, having a good time with what we do. And if that means breaking a few wine rules along the way? So be it.

This mixing drinks 101 series is all about pushing boundaries and trying mixtures that are a little out of the ordinary, and as we’ve seen already, the results can be surprising.

So if you’ve ever been curious about mixing red and white wine, you’re in the right place!

Let’s get into it…

Can You Mix Red And White Wine?

Yes, you can mix red and white wine. While it might seem unconventional or even sacrilegious to some wine purists, blending wines is actually an age-old practice.

Contrary to popular belief, mixing red and white wine does not create rosé. The color and characteristics of rosé wine come from the skin of the red grapes being in contact with the juice for a short period, not from blending red and white wines.

But blending red and white wine can indeed produce a rosy-colored wine, but it typically does not match the depth, complexity, or quality of professionally produced wines.

can you mix red and white wine
Photo by rikkia hughes

This blending is most often practiced in the context of cooking, where the precise nuances of a high-quality wine might be lost and where the objective is more about enhancing flavors than achieving perfect balance.

In a professional winemaking context, blending is a complex and delicate process used to achieve specific flavor profiles and balance in the final product.

Expert winemakers often blend different varieties of grapes, and sometimes those include both red and white, to create well-rounded, complex wines.

However, casually mixing red and white wines at home can still be an enjoyable experiment, allowing you to play with different flavor profiles and learn more about your taste preferences.

>> Read more: 45 INTRIGUING Wine Statistics

What Happens When You Mix Red And White Wine?

When you mix red and white wine, the most immediate effect is a change in color.

The resulting blend becomes a hue that’s somewhere between the original red and white wines, depending on the color intensity of the red and how much of each type you use.

Beyond the visual, the taste of the blend will be different from its components. It will likely embody some characteristics from both the red and white wine, like the body, tannin level, and sweetness.

If the white wine was light and fruity and the red wine was heavy and tannic, for example, you might end up with a medium-bodied wine with a mix of fruit flavors and some tannins.

However, it’s worth noting that blending wines in a casual setting, such as at home, usually results in a wine that is of lower quality compared to the original wines.

This is because the process of blending wines professionally to create a new, balanced flavor profile is a highly skilled task.

The temperature of the resulting blend might also need some consideration. Red and white wines are typically served at different temperatures, so you’d have to find a happy medium that works for the blend.

So, while mixing red and white wine may seem like a straightforward task, it actually involves careful balance and understanding of the individual wines to create a blend that’s pleasant to drink.

>> Read more: Can You Mix Whiskey And Wine?

Is Mixing Red And White Wine A Good Idea?

In the wine world, experimentation can often lead to delightful discoveries. However, when it comes to mixing red and white wines, it’s not generally recommended unless you’re a professional.

Blending wines to achieve a delightful balance of flavors, aromas, body, and color is an art form. Professional winemakers spend years mastering this delicate craft.

For the casual wine drinker, mixing red and white wines can be a fun experiment, but the results can be unpredictable and often less enjoyable than the original wines.

You could end up with a blend that doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of flavor, and in the process, good quality wine might go to waste.

If you do decide to go down this route just be mindful of the fact that you’ll probably waste a lot of wine so it’s best to use cheaper alternatives and not your most expensive bottles.

So, while there’s no harm in trying it out for fun or out of curiosity, just keep in mind that achieving a truly enjoyable result can be more challenging than it seems.

If you’re looking to enjoy a glass of quality wine, your best bet is probably to stick with the selections curated by the professionals.

>> Read more: Can You Mix Rum And Whiskey?

Can You Drink Red Wine After White Wine?

Yes, you can drink red wine after white wine. There’s an old saying, “white before red, you’ll wish you were dead; red before white, you’ll be alright,” but this is largely a myth.

The order in which you drink different types of wine largely depends on personal preference and what you’re eating with it.

can you mix red and white wine
Photo by Matthieu Joannon

However, it’s generally suggested to progress from lighter wines to fuller-bodied wines if you’re having a wine-tasting session or drinking different wines throughout a meal.

This is because lighter wines, such as whites, are typically more delicate in flavor, while reds are often more robust. If you drink a full-bodied red wine before a delicate white, the stronger flavors of the red could overpower and diminish the taste of the white.

>> Read more: Can You Mix Vodka With Water?

Wrapping Up

To wrap up, the world of wine is a vast landscape of flavors, colors, and traditions. While mixing red and white wine might seem like a fun experiment, it’s crucial to understand that the art of blending wines is best left to professionals.

Unpredictable results and the potential of wasting good wine are risks that come with casual blending.

That said, as long as you’re aware of this then there is no harm done by experimenting at home with mixing different white and red wines.

When it comes to drinking wine in a certain order, feel free to move from whites to reds, as going from lighter to fuller-bodied wines can enhance your tasting experience.

But remember, there’s no concrete rule about this, and your personal preference and enjoyment should always be the priority.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of mixing drinks 101 and have learned some valuable insights into the wonderful world of wines today.

See you in the next one!