Wine industry is pretty much like fashion – new trends each season. According to latest wine trends, Merlot wines are one of the most sought-after bottles by regular wine drinkers and those who want to experience the exquisite, delicate and rich-flavoured side of both red and white.
The most popular Merlot wines of the present day are the complex, full-bodied Merlot Noir as the king of reds, and the sparkling, elegant Merlot Blanc, representing the highest class of whites. All Merlot wines feature an exceptional stoutness and softness, which is why they top the ‘the most popular wines’ charts in Australia, the United States, California, Chile and New Zealand.
Merlot grape variety was first introduced in Bordeaux, France in 1784. This was the year when the very first bottle of red Merlot was made and it was named by the French provincial word ‘merlot’, which means young blackbird. Shortly after, Merlot wine reached the borders of Italy and Chile, quickly conquering the world thanks to its unique flavours of fruits and tannins.
What Makes Merlot Wines Special and World-Famous?
- Merlot grapes are adaptable to most soils and they can withstand clayey, damp soils in comparison with other grapes that cannot, like Cabernet Sauvignon for example. These grapes are identified by their large berries and loose branches. A Merlot grape tends to have lower malic acid and higher sugar content.
- Merlot wines have a great response to barrel oak ageing. Thanks to this special feature, passionate Merlot lovers can enjoy the heavenly flavours of caramel, vanilla, chocolate and coffee bean.
- They are considered wines with exceptional softness and alluring characteristics that cannot be found in other wines. Simply put, the softness of Merlot is nothing to compare with the harshness of most wines available on the market today.
- Merlot wines tend to mature earlier than other types of red wines; they do not require to be kept in a cellar to soften.
The “Merlot craze” did not omit Australia. In 2008, Merlot was the 3rd most planted grape in the country. Today, Merlot wines are the signature of Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Margaret River. Our top picks are 2013 Dandelion Vineyards Damsel of The Barossa Merlot and 2005 Chapman Grove Margaret River Merlot. These wines are perfect when paired with chicken, roasted tomatoes, beef bourguignon, and other lighter meats. Although Merlot wines pair well with almost any food, avoid having them with fish or leafy green vegetables.