Merlot’s popularity was destroyed by Hollywood back in 2005 with the famous movie Sideways, while Pinot Noir sales soared. Certainly we can relate to this as we saw the same trend in wine kit sales. Miles, the main character in the movie, continually blasts Merlot as terrible, and relishes Pinot Noir. The irony of the movie, was that Miles raves about a 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc wine as his favourite. This wine is predominately Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc.
In France, Merlot is one of the dominant grapes in the Bordeaux wine growing region and finds it’s way into this months Small Lots Estate Series 3 Continents Meritage Red.
Merlot tends not to be a full bodied as Cabernet Sauvignon, instead having slight less acidity, and more herbaceous or vegetative tastes. It is not a fruit forward wine at all and lower in tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon. Many people describe it having great lush mouth-feel due to its lower astringency. While, Wine collectors typically favour Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine drinkers tend to favour Merlot as it is an easier to drink smoother wine. It can also be consumed younger than Cabernet Sauvignon.
As far as taste, apart from the wonder mouth feels, Merlot typically displays fruit flavours of currant, black cherry and caramel. It’s bouquet is often described as truffles, mushroom and coffee.
When pairing with food, Merlot is synonymous with chicken, but also matches up with red meat, pork, pastas and salads. Enjoy it this month on sale in our Vintners Reserve Merlot. Many will know that this author’s favourite wine kit is the Estate Series Stag’s Leap Merlot.