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The Best Red Wines For Beginners (Series): #3 Merlot

What are some of the best red wines for beginners?

Well, in part 3 of this series, "The Best Red Wines," we're going to talk about Merlot.

Merlot's origins can be traced back to the Bordeaux region of France, and to this day,

it's still one of the main two grapes used in Bordeaux wine.

The name is similar to the French word, "Merle,"which is a blackbird.

And that makes sense when you see the grape clusters, because they're really dark black

and blue.

If Cabernet Sauvignon can be considered King of all Wines, then Merlot is probably the

Queen.

They're both neck-and-neck as far as being the most planted red grapes in the world,

at over 700,000 acres each!

More recently, Merlot has kinda fallen out of popularity and a lot of people in the industry

suspect that it has something to do with the movie, "Sideways.

"It's called the "Sideways Effect."

The movie sort of dissed Merlot a little... people in the industry say that sales dropped

off significantly after the movie came out.

I think that's a shame if it's true, because Merlot makes some of the most delicious and

celebrated wines in the world!

Well, one thing that Merlot is most definitely known for is its soft, velvety and smooth

texture, for that reason it's often used to smooth out more austere grapes like Cabernet

Sauvignon.

In places like Bordeaux, where the weather is variable, and the harvest is different

every year, wine makers hedge their best a bit by blending grapes together.

That's why in Bordeaux, you'll see (Merlot) used primarily as a blending grape.

There are a few places in Bordeaux that make 100% Merlot-based wines.They're some of the

most famous and expensive in the world.

A rare vintage of Chateau Petrus may fetch from $5000 - 6000 a bottle.

It's probably no surprise that Merlot is genetically related to

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.

All of those grapes are grown in the same region of France.

Merlot is now grown all over the world.

Anywhere wine is made, you'll find a Merlot.

So, what does Merlot taste like?

Like all grapes, it depends on where it's grown.

But like Cabernet Sauvignon, it's big and bold and juicy, and while it does have some

tannins, it's more velvety-smooth and has lower acids than Cabernet.

Common flavor descriptions say it's like drinking Black Cherries, Red Currants, and and even,

blueberry.

Like Cabernet, if it grows in a cool climate, it can exhibit some green flavors: Green bell

pepper, and even tomato leaf.

In warmer climates, it tends to get very rip and therefore, higher in alcohol, really stewed

and jammy, and extracted.

Much like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is big and bold, and goes well with proteins.

I'd pair it up with some grilled meats, some pork and even poultry too.

Try it with some duck!

Fans of pairing wine and chocolate will be happy to know that Merlot is soft enough to

go with some of the sweeter chocolate dishes: Chocolate ganaches, and milk chocolate, for

example.

You can get affordable Merlot from almost anywhere in the world these days, but if you're

looking for something slightly different, look to places like Italy, for example this

one is from Tuscany.

This Merlot is from Israel.

And this one right here, is from Chile.

And in the United States, places like Washington State, Long Island New York, believe it or

not, Virginia State and even my home state, Pennsylvania!

All right, everybody, thanks so much for hanging out and discussing Merlot with me.

If you'd like to see me do a video about another great red wine for you to try, give me some

comments below and I'll see what I can do about that!

And if you haven't already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, that way you'll get

notifications when I release these videos.

Stay tuned, and as always, don't forget to take a little time out of every day to drink

something special.

Cheers!