Definition - What does Fighting Varietal mean?
A Fighting Varietal pertains to a wine that is made mainly from a popular grape, carrying the price of an average blended wine. It began in the 1980s to market a "new wine style" and it proved to be very successful. The main goal of the experiment was to sell wines of classic varietals, i.e. Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for a fraction of the price that was normally expected.
WineFrog explains Fighting Varietal
The "Fighting Varietal" wine began in 1983 to originally market wines in California which, up until that time, were generically labelled as Burgundy, Chablis or a similar variation. These wines, however, despite their name being associated with a high price tag, were much cheaper. They also were not produced of one main varietal and were instead blended 50/50.
At the time, there was a surplus of wine, and wine sales were low. To solve the problem, Bruno Benzinger of Glen Ellen Winery, requested that such wines would be made with 25% of one variety and the wine would be labelled according to the dominating grape. Consumers then had a better idea of what was in the bottle, and wine sales began to grow.