Craft & Cork >> Wine

May 20, 2022 | By

France: Merlot’s Home Sweet Home



One of the world’s most popular red wines. Ever wonder why? Let’s discuss! Specifically, let’s dive into this noble grape’s versatility, food-loving qualities, and the longstanding history that makes this varietal so great!

Merlot was first cited in 1783 in Bordeaux, a city in France, where it was referred to as Merle or Merlau. The name roughly translates to “little blackbird,” and is said to have come from the blackbirds with the same blue-black colouring as Merlot, often seen eating the ripe grapes. In terms of the family tree, it’s the child grape of Cabernet Franc and the rare Magdeleine Noire des Charentes. To date, Merlot is still the most planted grape in Bordeaux and is grown all over the world. It’s well-matched to cool climates and is often used as a blended grape with other popular varietals, including Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.

When it comes to pairing this wine with food, the options are infinite! For an easy-drinking, smooth Merlot, pizza, simple pasta, or barbecue chicken work fantastically. An earthy Merlot goes with fall-off-the-bone beef short ribs, and for rich and full-bodied, think roast lamb or filet mignon. Be sure to enjoy your glass of wine at room temperature (12 – 18˚C) to best experience the soft tannins and ripe fruitiness in this varietal.

If you’re looking to try a Merlot from France – the country this varietal first originated from – you’re in luck! Our CRU SELECT France Style Merlot is a true French classic with silky tannins. It boasts impressive aromas of farm-fresh strawberries, vanilla, and violets. Pair a glass alongside grilled veal or lamb chops and portobello mushrooms – simply exquisite!

Loved for its black cherry flavour, chocolaty finish, and subtle tannins, Merlot remains one of the top-selling wines around the globe. You too can discover the great wide world of Merlot and see for yourself why this wine is so easily adored by all!

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