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A Basic Guide to Merlot Wine

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Merlot in itself refers to the red wine grape used for two purposes – as a blending grape and as a varietal wine. On one hand, it is used to blend with other grape varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon ostensibly to balance out the sterner taste of the latter. On the other hand, it is used to make a medium-bodied type of wine known simply as merlot wine.

Such versatility in use has made it the second most planted grapes in the world with approximately 260,000 acres devoted to its cultivation. It is also one of the most popular red wines in the global market. Thus, knowing about this variety of wine will be to your advantage since you are going to encounter it at one point or another of your wine-drinking life.

Family Relations

If one were to trace the genealogy of merlot in the grape family, it can be said to be the child of the Cabernet Franc and the sibling of the Cabernet Sauvignon. This can explain the pairing between these grape varieties obviously to take advantage of the superior qualities of each one while covering up for their inferior qualities.

Merlot wine was first recorded in 1784 in the noted of a local Bordeaux official who declared it to be one of the best. Today, the wine is popular in many areas of the world because of its soft, fruity and flavourful profile that lends itself well to a wide variety of international dishes. One may also say that the relative ease with which its name can be pronounced even by non-French speakers has also contributed to its approachable nature in comparison with other red wines.

Wine Characteristics

Merlot-based wines are considered to have a medium body with a soft and velvety texture coupled with a wide range of flavours depending on it style. There are three recognized styles of the merlot wine:

A soft, smooth and fruity wine with a light body due to the presence of very little tannins. Its best food pairings are with shellfish such as prawns and scallops. Fruity wine with more tannins go well with salmon and vegetables like chard. Finally, a brawny wine with high tannin structure that closely mimics Cabernet Sauvignon and yet still retaining its distinctive taste. It goes well with grilled and charred meats.

Now that you know about these things related to merlot-based wines, you can expand on your wine collection to include such wondeful bottles of pleasure.

Find an excellent choice of merlot wine at Laithwaites.