what is merlot wine
Drinks & Cocktails

What is Merlot Wine? The Essential Guide to Merlot

While it may surprise many people, Merlot wine is actually one of the most popular wines in the world. While it still only makes up a fairly small portion of all wine that is sold globally, it’s been increasing in popularity since the 1980s. More and more consumers are flocking to this type of grape-based drink, which is both cheap and accessible. If you have wondered what is Merlot wine, here are some basic facts that should answer those questions.

What is Merlot Wine?

Merlot is a variety of wine grape that is used to make red wines. It is one of the most popular grapes in the world, and it is often used to make wines that are meant to be drunk early in their lives.

Merlot grapes are usually dark purple to black in color which is why they are often referred to as the “black grape.” Merlot wines can be found all over the world including South Africa, Australia, California, and Italy.

Merlot grapes

The wine gets its name from the French word meaning “young blackbird” because it has a mellow flavor like that of young birds. This may be due to how merlot grapes ripen more slowly on the vine than other varieties of red or white grapes do. They also produce less sugar and more acidity which gives the wine a softer, smoother taste.

In recent years there have been some health concerns over excessive alcohol consumption but merlot remains one of the most popular types of wine worldwide because it is easy to drink and pairs well with a variety of foods. Merlot wines are also often less expensive than other types of red wine.

What Does Merlot Taste Like?

The wine is known for its rich flavors, which can include notes of tobacco, chocolate, vanilla, and black pepper. The taste will vary depending on the soil composition where it was grown as well as the climate conditions during harvest time.

How Is Merlot Made?

How Is Merlot Made

It’s made from a blend of red grapes, typically Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It’s no wonder that merlot wines are often dark-colored with red or purple hues.

To make merlot, the dark purple grapes are crushed and the juice is then fermented with yeast. Unlike some wines, merlot does not go through a malolactic fermentation process which means that its acidity levels remain high. The wine is then stored in oak barrels where it can age for anywhere from 6 to 36 months.

Merlot Wine Ingredients

It is a type of wine that is red, made from grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec. The alcohol content ranges from 12% to 14%. It can be dry or sweet. Merlot wine ingredients include grapes grown in vineyards all over the world which are fermented together to create this beverage.

Merlot wine contains alcohol, sugar, and acids. It also has the following minerals: Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Phosphorus (P). There are also trace amounts of other minerals like Chromium (Cr), Manganese (Mn) Zinc (Zn), and Iron (Fe).

There are different types of Merlot wines made from different varieties. Some include Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, The Merlot grape itself, or a blend of two or more of them.

How To Drink Merlot?

The best way to drink merlot is the same as with any other wine: sip it slowly and let it linger on your tongue. You’ll find that this gives you the perfect opportunity to taste all of its subtle flavors.

If you’re drinking merlot in order to enjoy its fruitiness, then try holding back a bit on the amount of food you eat before or with your glass. This will help bring out more of those fruity tones in your wine since they don’t have anything else competing for their attention.

If you want to really enjoy a rich, velvety texture from your wine, pair it with something fatty like steak or cheese so that the fat coats your mouth and allows all those complex flavors to shine through!

Types of Merlot Brands

Types of Merlot Brands

Some of the most popular merlot brands include Robert Mondavi, Kendall Jackson, and Beringer.

Robert Mondavi is a California-based winery that was founded in 1966. Their merlot wines are made with grapes from Napa Valley, one of the most renowned wine-producing regions in the world.

Kendall Jackson is another California-based winery that was founded in 1982. They produce a wide variety of wines, including several types of merlot.

Beringer is also a California-based winery that has been producing wine since 1876. They are known for their award-winning merlot wines, which have been praised for their smooth taste and rich flavor.

How To Taste And Serve Merlot Wine

The first step to tasting and serving Merlot wine is to pour a small amount into your glass. You want to swirl the wine around in the glass, allowing it to release its aromas. Then take a sip, swish it around in your mouth, and finally swallow.

The next step is evaluating how you felt about the taste of the wine. If you liked it, then congratulations! You have discovered a wonderful new flavor that will make an excellent addition to your collection of wines. However, if you didn’t enjoy this particular type of wine as much as others, don’t worry! It just means that maybe another type of red or white wine would suit your palate better than this one does.

The final step is to add a few ice cubes or cold water. This will open up the flavors of the wine even further, allowing you to enjoy them at their best. If you prefer sweeter wines, then adding only an ice cube will be enough for you. But if you like dryer wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, then adding a little cold water is recommended. Once you’ve added the ice or water, give the glass a quick stir and enjoy!

Suggestions for Food Pairings with Merlot Wine

Merlot wines can be enjoyed on their own, but they are also delicious with food. They pair well with rich dishes like beef or lamb, as well as earthy flavors like mushrooms and truffles. Merlot wines are also great with lighter fare like salmon or chicken. If you’re looking for a wine to enjoy with dinner, merlot is always a good choice.

Suggestions for Food Pairings with Merlot Wine

How to Store Merlot Wine Properly

Storing them properly can be done with one simple tip: do not store merlots in direct sunlight! This will spoil the wine because it causes an increase in temperature which will then cause premature oxidation – this process tends to make the flavors turn slightly sour. When selecting where to store your merlot bottles, keep these tips in mind;

never keep them out on your countertop near windows or doors that receive direct sunlight for extended periods of time (especially when you are not there to carefully monitor them).

You should also avoid any locations that are frequently exposed to drastic changes in temperature. This will prevent the wine from expanding and contracting, which can cause it to break down its seal.

If you’re really on top of your game, store them on their side instead of upright – this makes sure that the cork will stay moist and not dry out.

Cabernet vs Merlot


1. Is Merlot a good wine for beginners?

If you’re new to wine, merlot is a good place to start. It’s an easy-drinking wine that has a lot of flavors, and it’s affordable compared to some other types of wine. You can often find merlot wines for under $10, making it an affordable indulgence. Merlot wine has been enjoyed by generations, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

2. How many calories and carbs do Merlot have? 

7oz of Merlot has about 120 calories and 2.7g carbs – which is a little more than 1/10th the amount of fat in one tablespoon. A mere ounce will give you a 10% daily value of iron, a touch over 5% DV for calcium, and only 2% DV each for vitamin B6 and magnesium.

3. What’s the difference between Pinot Noir and Merlot?

Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine that has flavors of cherry and strawberry. Merlot, on the other hand, is a heavier-bodied red wine that has flavors of blackberry and plum.

4. Where was the Merlot grape first grown?

The wine is actually derived from the French word “merlot” which means young blackbird. The grape itself was first grown in Bordeaux, France. However, it’s now enjoyed all over the world.

5. How long does Merlot last after opening?

Since merlot is an open bottle of wine, it should be consumed within one or two days to ensure that you’re getting the best flavor. If you have leftover merlot after this point, you can store it in a tightly sealed container in the fridge to prevent it from spoiling.

6. Is Merlot a red or white wine?

Merlot is a red wine, but it has a lighter body than some other types of red wine. It ranges in color from light ruby to dark purple.


This is a type of wine that has been surging in popularity for decades. It’s the fourth most popular grape-based drink, and it makes up about 16% of all wines sold globally. This red or deep purple wine goes well with many different types of dishes and can be found at an affordable price point nearly anywhere you go. If Merlot isn’t your thing, there are plenty more options out there to enjoy! What do you think? Have we answered your questions about what is merlot wine?

Beth Herman

She is the one who has been with Saved By The Max since its inception. In the first days of coming here, she worked as a waitress, then through the process of working and learning more specialized knowledge, she is now an events manager.

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