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Merlot

Merlot

Merlot

Merlot

Merlot

Soft, silky and well rounded - that's how I imagine a good Merlot to taste.

Unfortunately Merlot has had a bad rap in previous years, mostly due to the over production and mass marketing from warm New World countries looking to corner the market. The Merlot that came from those countries was over fruity, almost "punch-like" and, well, "blah". Needless to say, an impression was made on new wine drinkers who have disliked it ever since.

Thankfully, things have changed and this regal beauty is being produced, as it should be, in it's soft and silky form once again.

Merlot is the perfect blending partner to Cabernet Sauvignon  especially in Bordeaux where on the left bank it produces world famous Medoc's.

But Merlot comes into it's own in Bordeaux on the right bank where it is blended again with Cab Sav, just less of it, to form incredible Pomerol and Saint Emilion wines.

Shiraz

WHAT: Large fat plummy grapes that have medium body, medium acidity and low to medium tannin.

It's what I would call the perfect "beginners" or "middle ground" wine. Easy to drink and doesn't offend.

Loves cool climate growing but also grows well in warm climates although the fruit can become "over fruity" in some cases.

Can have high alcohol content depending on where it is grown.

Perfect blending partner where it delivers richness to the blend but has recently been produced well as 100% single variety wines. 

Loves oak aging although too much can make it too rich.

WHERE:

France - Bordeaux, Languedoc

Italy - Tuscany

Australia - South

Chile and Argentina

USA - California, Washington and New York State

Canada - Okanagan, Ontario

TASTE/FLAVOURS:

Black cherry, raspberry, plum, blackcurrant. Cedar, tobacco, leather, vanilla, clove, mocha, coffee, violets, roses, tar.

OTHER NAMES:

Petit Merle, Vitraille, Crabutet Noir and Bigney.

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Merlot is THE perfect food partner.

It's middle ground properties make it inoffensive to most foods and therefore a great "go-to" food wine.

Always be mindful of where the wine comes from when food pairing though:

Wines from hot/warm countries will pair well with hot/spicy or charred foods while wines from cool climates might seem harsh in comparison.

Likewise wines from cooler climate countries will pair well with simply roasted or hearty foods such as casseroles with simple ingredients while warm climate wines might appear too "flabby" of fruity in comparison.

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