Described as a first class red wine grape, Merlot is used for both varietal and Bordeaux-style blends. It’s one of the world’s most well known varietals with origins dating back to 19th century France. Merlot is an offspring of Cabernet Franc, and like Cab Franc, the grapes are a dark-blue colour. In Canada, Merlot can be found throughout Ontario and is very popular in British Columbia.
Merlot produces a deep, red wine with musky brown hues. Merlot can be used to create a variety of wine styles, usually medium to full bodied. Cool climate Merlot tends to have structured tannins and more earthy flavours, whereas Merlot produced in a hotter climate, tends to be more fruit forward and benefits from barrel ageing. Red fruits, soft tannins and a smooth finish are all typical characteristics of a Merlot based wine.
Merlot goes extremely well with food because of its medium tannins and moderate acidity. Many confuse Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon, so here’s a tip: Merlot is sensitive to light so it will have an orange tint at the rim. This is a great way to distinguish the two wines.
- Dark blue-coloured red wine grape
- Used on its own as a varietal or as a blending grape
- 19th century France origins
- In Canada, it can be found in Ontario and B.C
- Produces a deep, red wine with musky brown hues
- Medium to full bodied with moderate acidity
- Red fruits, soft tannins and smooth finish
- Goes well with food pairings