The Merlot Grape
International Merlot Day is here and we are raising a glass to this versatile grape.
- Merlot is a grape that originates from the Bordeaux wine region. France has more acreage than any other country and it is the most widely planted grape in France.
- In French, Merlot is translated to “little blackbird”. Its DNA shows it is the offspring of Cabernet Franc (father) and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes (mother and now an extinct varietal).
- Cabernet sauvignon and merlot are great blending partners and complement each other very well. This is because merlot ripens earlier than cabernet sauvignon and on average, is much lower in tannin. Their respective tannin levels balance each other.
- Merlot is a common blending grape because it’s high in sugar and low in acidity. It is classed as a ‘red noble grape’, commanding the highest respect in the wine world, next to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- It pairs well with a wide variety of foods due to its position in the middle of the red wine spectrum. Chicken, light meats and some dark meats pair well with Merlot.
A couple of our favourite Merlot blends are: