International Merlot Day

“Ah sweet mystery of life, at last I found you.”

November 7 is International Merlot Day according to the Wine Lover’s Calendar. While I lead off with the lyrics from a song, I still find that there is not more acceptance of Merlot, and that is still a mystery to me. I know that everyone proclaims that Cabernet (Sauvignon) is King, but if that is the case, then Merlot is the Queen. That is the lesson that I learned years ago from many who took me as a kid to mentor me about wines. It is why I am still such a staunch supporter of Saint-Emilion where Merlot shines.

Ornellaia 2001

When I meet people or even get messages on Social Media asking what wine that should try, especially when they tell me that most red wines are too heavy, but the dinner they are going to have calls for a red wine, I always suggest a Merlot. It is such a mellow wine even when it is young, some times Cabernet Sauvignon can take years in the cellar to mellow and now-a-days most people don’t have that luxury. Without trying to sound sexist, Merlot is sexy and smooth, and is it any wonder why women tend to gravitate to it because of those qualities. It is a graceful wine that brings instant harmony to red meats without being over bearing; and let me add that it is not a “mousy” or a “wimpy” wine at all.

Ch L'Angelus 1970

It is the pure diplomat when it comes to wine, instead of being an iron fist of dominance, it covers that fist with a velvet glove (and I know that it sounds trite, but it is true) especially if it has been some time, since one has had the pleasure of a great bottle of Merlot. Bulk wine bottling that is labeled Merlot, does this wine a disservice, but that is true of all bulk wines, and they tend to be what many people gravitate towards especially in a restaurant, when they have the “house” Merlot. If one experiments and goes up a notch or two, the results and pleasures derived is unbelievable. Even in Napa Valley there are some wineries that have embraced Merlot at the expense of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. It has been one of “secrets” that even the Super Tuscany wines have learned by blending Merlot with Sangiovese. Of course I make no secret that I am enamored with this varietal, and I cannot foresee a time, when I won’t be.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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6 Responses to International Merlot Day

  1. Well said. Merlot is a most important grape that when made well as a single varietal is outstanding!

  2. Merlot is an amazing grape. SOme of the most extraordinary wines in the world are definitely made out of it, like your label selection for this article perfectly illustrate. Merlot is quite difficult to make well in many places though. It doesn’t adapt to all soils and deliver quality as easily as Cab Sauv does all around the world, hence a lot of very average wines and the bad reputation. Cheers 🙂

  3. Merlot has been a grower on me. I never used to care for it but as my tastes have change so have the wines I prefer. Piggybacking off other points, it all depends on where its grown and the soul behind the winemakers is a big part of it as well. But that can apply to any grape or just about anything in general!

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