Get the Most Out of Your Merlot Wine

By Nia Lawrence

Merlot wines are among the most popular wine varieties all over the world, ranking alongside Cabernet Sauvignon. This varietal wine is notoriously popular in the Bordeaux wine region of France and in wine regions in the United States, specifically in California, since the grapes are widely grown there. It can be paired with almost any type of food, but it seems to work extremely well with red meats, pork, poultry, salads, and pastas. You should avoid pairing it with overly spicy food, though, as strong tastes can overwhelm the wine's flavor; thus, you become more aware of the wine's tannins than its fruity flavors.

Because it ages in the bottle earlier than the Cabernet, the Merlot is well liked by wine drinkers more than wine collectors. It is usually used to soften the taste of Cabernet Sauvignon and make a more complex wine, since it is lusher and softer than the Cabernet. Merlots are typically deep in color, somewhat high in alcohol content, and intense. A hint of black pepper mixes with luscious berries like blueberries, cherries, blackberries, and plums in each bottle of this wine.

Of course, to ensure that you are taking full advantage of every bottle and guarantee a satisfying experience with your glass of Merlot, you should take note of a few things. For instance, Merlots should be served at room temperature. Therefore, it's best if you serve it straight from the cellar or if you don't have one, let it cool in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before serving. It's also highly recommended to pick a bottle that's been aged for about two to three years.

Before drinking or serving Merlots, no matter if it's just one glass or an entire bottle, it's always a good idea to let it breathe for about 15-20 minutes first. The best tasting qualities of most red wines and of Merlot are best achieved if exposed before consumption. Also, if you're drinking it from a wine glass, make sure to hold the glass by the stem, so your hand doesn't heat the wine.

Most important of all, put the stopper back in the bottle immediately after pouring the wine in a glass or decanter, even more so if there's leftover wine. That's because the wine's spoiling process starts when it comes into contact with the air. Stopping the bottle and returning the wine in the cellar will extend its life for a few more days. Following these simple suggestions will help you appreciate the wine even more and guarantee a most pleasurable drinking experience for you.

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