It’s about time that New World wineries caught up with consumers’ tastes. What do I mean by that? Several things! First, more and more wineries in Australia, California, and elsewhere now make proprietary wines, which means wineries are no longer exclusively beholden to varietal bottling (whereby 75%-100% of a given wine comes from a single grape variety), and are making outstanding wines from blends of grapes. Don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to varietal bottling. On the contrary, many great varietal wines abound as the wealth of outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, Zinfandel, and other varietal offerings will attest. My point is that varietal bottling isn’t the be all and end all, or the only way to make great wine. Using two or more great varieties in varying proportions often increases the complexity and drinking pleasure of a wine. Why limit our pleasure to one primary grape? So many excellent meritage selections and proprietary wines (typically blends with such given names as Sassolino, The Berry Box, or Honey Pot) now abound. It’s a new day and a new year for wine. Besides, Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja and other great wines region have been blending grapes for millennia. A varietal name on a bottle is no guarantee of quality. Conversely, many blends and proprietary wines constitute some of the most exciting wines being made in America today at all price points, so don’t be afraid to discover these treasures.