It is that time of year again where we show love to our favorite grape variety. Merlot is a grape variety that needs to be explored. It is a quiet variety, understated and elegant. Merlot is coming out of the closet and coming out front and center for an entire month as wineries come together to collaborate and celebrate. It is a month-long celebration of this wonderful noble grape. So this Merlotber grab a few bottles and celebrate #MerlotMe.
With a beautiful name like Merlot(means Little Black Bird in French) you know the variety is just as precious. Merlot has flavors of juicy berries, exotic spice, and cocoa powder. It’s a wine that is smooth, elegant and soft. A wonderful wine for autumn sipping, but because of its medium body, it can be drunk year-round and can be paired with almost any type of food. I love it with pasta, salads, turkey and even a big juicy steak. Merlot is approachable, fleshy, juicy and simply put DELICIOUS.
We all know that the Sideways Effect had a detrimental impact on the sale of Merlot wines. Now fifteen years after the movie, Merlot lovers are in luck. After the plummeting sales of Merlot, many winemakers switched to making more profitable Cabernet Sauvignon. Which meant that the truly passionate Merlot producers stuck around. It separated the good producers from the not so good, resulting in smaller but higher quality Merlots on the market. Only those producers making exceptional wines with passion and zest were left.
In celebration of this wonderful grape, grab a few bottles and raise a glass to this noble varietal. Due to its “juicy” factor, Merlot is an ideal food pairing.
Rutherford Hill Rose of Merlot Napa Valley 2019
This rose is a Provence style Rose made from Merlot grapes from the Pope Valley. This lively rose wine has gentle fruit aromas and crisp acidity, which makes it the ideal pairing for a light pasta salad with fresh tomatoes. You can even add in fresh shellfish to the pasta to make it a delicate meal.
Northstar Merlot Colombia Valley 2016
The 2016 Northstar Merlot has rich concentrated aromas of black cherry, plum, mint, cedar, and chocolate that lead into flavors of black raspberry and vanilla. The wine is big and bold and was created to enjoy now, or for many years to come as it will age gracefully. The boldness of the wine requires an equally bold and big dish. Pair this Northstar Merlot with garlic and herbed leg of lamb with grilled vegetables. The silky tannins in this wine cut right through the fattiness of the lamb, making for the ideal food pairing.
Rutherford Hill Atlas Peak Merlot 2017
The mountain-grown grapes of this Atlas Peak Merlot have exceptional concentration and structure. This Merlot delivers with heft and structure with plush accessible tannins. Full-bodied and velvety with dark berry flavors and baking spices make it a nice compliment with a juicy robust Ribeye steak.
McIntyre Per Ardua Kimberly Vineyards Red Blend 2016
Per Ardua is the ancient Gallic motto for clan McIntyre. It means “Thru Difficulty,” a sentiment that is as significant today in the Santa Lucia Highlands as it was two centuries ago for our ancestors in the Scottish Highlands. This is a wine with a lot of personalities. There are aromatic notes of cherry, tobacco and oak. McIntyre Per Ardua is a precisely structured wine with finesse and balance. This wine is a real treat and deserves an equally special dish like Beef Wellington.
L’Ecole No. 41 Merlot Columbia Valley 2017
L’Ecole N° 41 is one of Washington State’s top producers of premium Merlot and this wine delivers with great structure, color, and balanced acidity. Layered with complex aromas of black cherry, rose petal, and plum, this full-bodied, balanced Merlot shows layers of baking spices and cocoa with a seamless finish carried by fine-grained tannins. This wine is full of fruit and spice and will pair with a juicy cheeseburger. I take my cheeseburgers very seriously and so feel free to load up your burger, this L’Ecole No. 41 Merlot will hold up to it, or if you want to get fancy you can even pair this Merlot with a Mediterranean style lamb burger.
Merlot has a month all its own, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. October is #MerlotMe month and my fellow Wine Pairing Weekend writers are going to share their favorite Merlots. Be sure to check them out for more fun details on this wonderful varietal.
- Andrea at The Quirky Cork shares Three Turkish Merlots.
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla posts Merlot: A Varietal That Plays Well with Others.
- Cindy at Grape Experiences says to Sip Memorable Merlot with Classic Vegetarian Favorites.
- Deanna at Asian Test Kitchen offers a Fall Vegan Menu Paired with 2016 Napa Merlots.
- David at Cooking Chat shares Merlot Food Pairing: Tips and Favorites.
- Gwendolyn at Wine Predator shares Meatloaf and #MerlotMe with Sonoma’s Selby and Columbia Valley’s L’Ecole No. 41.
- Jane at Always Ravenous gives us a Merlot Pairing: Baked Pasta with Sausage Ragù.
- Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares A Tale of Two Merlots at the Grill.
- Jill at L’Occasion asks What’s So Special About Merlot?
- Jennifer at Vino Travels declares Fall is Here! Warm up with a Merlot and Pot Roast Pairing.
- Lauren at The Swirling Dervish posts October is #MerlotMe Month: Here’s What I’ve Been Sipping.
- Linda at My Full Wine Glass is Kicking off #MerlotMe in the Pacific Time Zone.
- Liz at What’s in that Bottle? says Make Room for Merlot!
- Lori at Exploring the Wine Glass has Leaves on the Ground and #MerlotMe in My Glass.
- Lynn at Savor the Harvest gives us Next Gen Merlot From Where It All Started.
- Martin at Enofylz Wine Blog writes A Meatless #MerlotMe Redux.
- Nicole at Somm’s Table has 5 #MerlotMe Nights.
- Payal at Keep the Peas is Kicking Off Autumn With #MerlotMe.
- Pinny at Chinese Wine & Food Pairings celebrates #MerlotMe with Markham and L’Ecole No. 41 Merlots and Army Ramen.
- Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles posts Merlot from Elegant to Badass. Time to #Merlotme.
- Rupal at Syrah Queen writes #MerlotMe – Best Food Pairings For Merlot
- Susannah at Avvinare says Brazilian Merlot Is Always Welcome At My Table.
- Terri at Our Good Life pairs Merlot Me with No Noodle Lasagne.
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm declares Woohoooooooo….It is #MerlotMe Month.
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