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Merlot

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Merlot Trevor Williams/Photodisc/Getty Images
Definition: The classic Merlot grape originated from the Bordeaux region of France. It typically produces a soft, medium-bodied red wine with juicy fruit flavors.

Flavor Profile: A range of fresh flavors such as plums, cherries, blueberries and blackberries mixed with cocoa and blackpepper tones, often dominate this type of red wine. The tannin levels are typically lower than say a Cab and the fruit flavors are typically forward - making this a prime wine candidate for consumers just "getting into" red wines. Merlot is often used to blend with other varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. By blending Merlot with these wines, a symbiotic relationship can exist. The Cabs are softened, mellowed a bit and the Merlot enjoys more structured and defined.

Food Pairing

Fairly versatile when it comes to food pairing options. Poultry, red meat, pork, pastas, salads - Merlot can handle them all well.

Key Domestic Producers

Chateau St. Jean

Shafer Vineyards

Mercer Estates

Whitehall Lane

St. Clement

Columbia Crest

Covey Run

Chateau St. Michelle

Chateau Souverain

Smoking Loon

Pronunciation: Mer-Low
Also Known As: Merlot Noir, Crabutet Noir
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