Merlot, Merlot, Merlot…

Happy International Merlot Day!

Here are 10 facts about Merlot you may (or may not) know:

  1. Merlot is the child of Cabernet Franc & Magdeleine Noire des Charentes, recent DNA testing has proven this where the grape’s full origins were unknown for many years.

  2. Merlot’s soft skin is what leads to it being so silky for such a structured wine, but subsequently is susceptible to rots and molds that can destroy crops.
  3. Merlot is the 2nd most planted grape in the world (for winemaking purposes – if it were in regards to table grape growth statistics, we’d have to begin with Kyoho, but we digress…).
  4. The name is derived from mèrle, or the local blackbird who is known for eating the fruit of the vines.
  5. While Cabernet Sauvignon is known for being a great steak wine, Merlot is actually far more food-friendly with a wider range of flavor profiles between cooler and warmer climate regions.
  6. Speaking of Cab vs. Merlot, Merlot ripens earlier and has much lower in tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon, and the two are usually blended to find a perfect tannic balance.
  7. (Generally speaking) The most expensive bottle of Merlot in the world comes from the right-bank of the Bordeaux, hailing from Chateau Petrus (averages $2k-$5k/bottle).
  8. In Switzerland you can find a “white Merlot” – a pale styling of the grape (Rosé).
  9. Merlot’s secret to its popularity is its ability to please all types of palates.
  10. The oldest documented mention of Merlot dates all the way back to 1784 in the Bordeaux.

So…Merlot anyone?

Cheers!

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