Whether you are a red wine drinker or just a general wine lover, you no doubt have a soft spot for the medium bodied, ruby red wonder that is Merlot.
Like you, the team at Grand Cru is a loyal fan of this popular varietal, so we thought it appropriate to share some interesting facts about this winning wine.
It’s one of the world’s most popular wines
Merlot once held the mantle of the world’s most popular wine and while it’s since been overtaken by Cabernet Sauvignon, it is still deemed the second most popular varietal in the world.
This popularity can be contributed to its reputation as a reliable red, with its high demand placing it on wine lists around the world. It’s also the favourite grape of perhaps the world’s most esteemed wine nation, France – it takes up a vast amount of acreage in the Bordeaux region, while also being versatile enough to mix with other French favourites, like Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, to create stunning blends.
Merlot means ‘young blackbird’
In the old regional French dialect, Merlot translates to ‘young blackboard’. There are two trains of thought as to why – many believe the blue-black colouring of the Merlot grape is behind its name, while others theorise that young blackbirds swirling the Bordeaux region take a particular liking to the Merlot grape as a snack.
It makes one of the world’s most desired wines
Petrus, which is often thought of as one of the world’s most exclusive wines, is almost exclusively made from Merlot. This hard-to-find wine is produced in the Right Bank of Bordeaux, with very few vintages being produced.
That means when this type of Merlot hits the market, it tends to fetch some of the highest prices – a bottle can cost upwards of $5,000.
Merlot is highly sensitive to light
Ever had a glass of red wine thrust into your hand at an event, only to wonder what varietal is swirling in your glass?
A great way to tell whether you’re nursing a glass of Merlot is to look at the colour on the wine’s rim. As Merlot is incredibly sensitive to light, it will have an orange tinge on the rim when it is poured into a glass. Sure enough, it’s a trick many in the wine know use to distinguish between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Inspired to add to your Merlot collection? Store your favourite varietal in a wine fridge from Grand Cru, Australia’s premier provider of wine storage solutions.