In 2004, the movie Sideways put California wines, and the hobby of wine tasting, on the map. The Pinot-loving male lead played by Paul Giamatti had a lot of opinions about wine, and some exceptionally strong words to say about a specific varietal. With one simple line, movie-goers left the theatre forever questioning their tastes and opinions about Merlot. Since then, Merlot has had a bad rap for no particularly good reason. With flavors of ripe berries, chocolate and silky tannins, this medium-bodied red is both delicious and easy to drink. We’re hoping you’ll give Merlot a second chance after reading some fun facts you may not have known about this incredible wine.
5 Fun Facts About Merlot
1. Merlot is the second most planted grape in the entire world. After Cabernet Sauvignon, you’ll find more Merlot planted than any other grape. In fact, it is the most widely planted grape in France, with the coveted Bordeaux region having more Merlot acreage than any other country in the world!
2. Merlot is considered one of the three noble grapes in the professional wine world. The others being Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
3. When tracing back to the origins of Merlot, researchers found that the DNA reveals it is the offspring of Cabernet Franc, being the father grape, and the now-extinct varietal Magdeleine Noire des Charentes, as the mother grape.
4.. Merlot wines tend to sit in the middle of the red wine spectrum, however exceptional Merlots are often so bold that they can be confused with Cabernet Sauvignon.
5. The Merlot grape skins are thinner than Cabernet Sauvignon and much more sensitive to climate. Therefore region and weather have a big impact on the style of Merlot that is produced. For example, a cool climate Merlot from France tends to be more structured, leaner, and has a higher presence of herbal, earthy flavors. While a warm climate Merlot from Argentina or California usually ends up being more fruit-forward and lush with less prominent tannins.
Our Favorite California Merlots
At ONEHOPE we have two types of Merlot that you can try. The first being our dry, medium-bodied California Merlot priced at $19.99. This Merlot features notes of huckleberry, loganberry, and dried fig. It is best paired with carne asada, grilled vegetables, and gorgonzola cheese. Every bottle of our California Merlot helps provide life-changing medicine for a child in need. To date, you’ve helped us provide 180,358 people with medicine who need it most.
The second Merlot we offer is our Napa Valley Reserve Merlot priced at $44.99. This Merlot is also dry, but much bolder and more full-bodied than our California Merlot. With notes of juicy blackberries, coffee, and velvety tannins, this red wine is a must-try in our book. You can pair our Napa Valley Merlot with a hearty roast beef, roasted root vegetables and a plum galette for dessert. This bottle helps provide much needed healthcare for patients around the world. We’ve provided 46,931 individuals with healthcare and counting thus far.
How Merlot Can You Go?
The next time you’re planning a dinner party or wine night with friends, order a bottle of Merlot and have a fabulous night in with this amazing wine. Once you’ve given Merlot another try, we’re certain it will quickly become your new favorite partner in wine.
The ONEHOPE Wine Team