Merlot Wines

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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The Merlot grape calls the Bordeaux region of France it's hometown. However, like its sister, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, it's now easily found in many areas far, far from home. This dark blue, highly fragrant grape is now found in wine growing regions all over the world, most notably in California and other spots of the American West Coast, as well as Australia, Italy and Eastern Europe.

In wines from the United States and Australia, Merlot wines are clearly labeled as such. However, European wines typically feature the wine-growing region rather than the grape variety itself. French wines, then, which contain high amounts of Merlot include St. Emilion and Pomerol. Bordeaux wines are a combination of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Affable, Pleasant, and Interesting at Any Age

One of the reasons for Merlot's popularity with wine drinkers is how much it can vary in character depending upon its age. Youthful Merlots are fruity; some even refer to them as "jammy." More mature Merlots become deeper and darker, both in color and in character.

In terms of aroma and flavor, Merlot has black cherry, rose and plum characteristics. Depending on its terroir, it can also feature chocolate, black currant, and overtones reminiscent of a deep, rich pine forest. Food and wine critics agree that Merlot is an excellent accompaniment to nearly any meal, and is particularly agreeable with strong, pungent cheese.

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