Merlot is very simaler to Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a lighter and mellower version of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is widely grown in California and until recent times has been one of the most popular California wines. For a variety of reasons, including poking fun at Merlot in the popular movie “Sideways,” Merlot has fallen out of favor by many.
- The Merlot is a red wine grape that is abundantly grown in France’s Bordeaux, and in particular in the St. Emilion region. In California, Merlot was once only used as a blending grape to soften Cabernet Sauvignon. In California Merlot has become immensely popular as its own varietal.
- Approximtely 50,000 acres are planted with Merlot vineyards in California.
- Merlot pairs with many meat dishes, barbeque foods, and mild to medium cheese dishes.
- Merlot has aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum, current, chocolate and vanilla. Merlot tends to have more herbaceous characteristics than Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Merlot is a medium-bodied wine but can be made in a big style, much like a Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Merlot in general is not capable of aging as long as Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Merlot is widely grown in the Napa Valley and the Sonoma areas of Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Sonoma Valley.