Do You Know About Merlot?
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
November 7th is National Merlot Day and we're uncorking a few fun facts about the variety!
Merlot is one of the worlds most popular variety of wine. This soft, ripe and elegant variety only falls second to the largest fan favorite, Cabernet Sauvignon. The word stemmed from the French word "merle" which means blackbird, another super fan of the grape. What is the best part, you might ask? The variety is really so versatile, there is something for everyone. And we are here to point you in the right direction!
What does Merlot actually taste like?
Well this is actually a pretty loaded question. Wine varieties grown all over the globe, develops certain characteristics based on the terroir or flavors based on soil, climate and topography. Most often you will find this variety to be a dry, medium to full bodied wine with medium acidity. Depending on where it is grown the taste can range from herbs and dark berry and plum fruits to cocoa and notes of clove, vanilla and cedar which are imparted by, by oak barrels.
What is the ideal temperature to serve merlot?
Like all red wines, there is an ideal temperature range for storing and drinking merlot. Wine continues its aging process in the bottle. Typically wines are stored at cooler temperatures in order to allow the wine to age at a slower rate allowing for an optimal peak and balance. If (all)
wine is stored too warm, this process is sped up drastically and can cause a wine to age faster and in turn "go bad". That being said, merlot is typically stored between 53–57˚F when intended for aging. Now for the best part, the drinking part! Since merlot is grown in both cool and warm climates, at its peak, this variety has a good balance of acid and tannins. With these details in mind, people recommend that this wine is served between 60° F and 65° F.
And lastly, what should one pair with merlot?
I believe that Wine Enthusiast said it best, "Fruity, easy-drinking Merlot goes great with white and dark meats from chicken, turkey and pork, as well as weeknight pasta, burgers, and pizza. Fuller-bodied, ripe and fleshy styles, often with higher alcohol, can handle fuller-flavored foods such as beef and lamb, hearty bean dishes, and game meats like venison and bison." Basically if you like the balance of flavors on your plate and in the glass, enjoy it!