Happy International Merlot Day!
Here are 10 facts about Merlot you may (or may not) know:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…).
- The name is derived from mèrle, or the local blackbird who is known for eating the fruit of the vines.
- While Cabernet Sauvignon is known for being a great steak wine, Merlot is actually far more food-friendly wine with a wider range of flavor profiles between cooler and warmer climate regions.
- 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.
- (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).
- In Switzerland you can find a “white Merlot” – a pale styling of the grape (Rosé).
- Merlot’s secret to its popularity is its ability to please all types of palates.
- The oldest documented mention of Merlot dates all the way back to 1784 in the Bordeaux.