Thirty grapes in thirty days: Merlot

Chile: the viticultural paradise

Yesterday may have been about the unique and unusual but today we are talking about a true classic. Merlot!

Merlot is a red grape famously known for being a component in the Bordeaux blend (along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc). Merlot has been used in wine making since the 1700’s and is considered as a fantastic starter for those new to red wine. However this doesn’t mean the more experienced drinker should overlook it. Merlot is a great wine to drink either on its own or with food. It is a wine to be enjoyed with beautifully soft tannins and ripe red fruit and plum taste.

Although originally from France, Merlot is planted in vineyards all over the world. Countries which have had great success with the grape include Chile, Spain, Italy and USA (California). Merlot is a great grape for winemakers as it produces high yields and has the ability to adapt to most soils and terrain.

The best Merlot’s are an intense cherry red in colour with aromas of plums, cherries and spices. Medium-bodied with soft tannins and a smooth, well balanced finish. For a Merlot that is low on price but not on taste try Undurraga Merlot. This is our exclusive label and retails at just £7.50 inc VAT. For a wine with more depth choose a Bordeaux blend, Chateau Lanessan Haut Medoc is the ultimate pleasure!

Merlot is a fantastic match for most foods so whatever takes your fancy is great! Though if you would like some inspiration we would recommend bean or pasta dishes with smoked ham or chorizo. Yum!

by Rebekah Hilton

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