The soft, round and fruitful Merlot grape has a flavor that ranges from purple plums to red cherries. The grape is lower in tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon and is often used to soften up Cabernet in Bordeaux blends.

Merlot has enjoyed a steady rise in popularity. As demand for the soft and fruitful grapes has soared, Merlot plantings in Bordeaux, France now outpace those of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Introducing: Mike Ditka's Da Coach Merlot

Merlot is almost always blended with other grapes to achieve a desired effect.

Merlot is grown in vinyards around the world. It grows best where the climate is both chilly and sunny. In areas such as northeast Italy, Merlot has enjoyed a long history of cultivation.

Some of the best Merlot comes from:

  • Bordeaux, France
  • Washington State
  • Napa and Sonoma Valleys
  • Various parts of Italy
  • Chile

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Wine Basics
"Merlot is best when served slightly below room temperature."