A Quick History of Merlot (and why you should buy a bottle of it tonight)!

Merlot is one of the most underrated wines. While big-name Cabernet and Chardonnay wines often get the limelight, Merlot is sometimes overlooked, but it shouldn’t be! Merlot is one of the most versatile wines, pairing well with everything from roasted meats and spicy sauces to pizza and pasta dishes!


Merlot is slowly beginning to get the recognition it deserves (it even has an official holiday—November 7th is now International Merlot Day) but many of our customers are still unaware of this wine’s true potential.


Merlot wine was first discovered in France around 1784 but didn’t emerge in California until the mid-19th century. During the 1970s, Merlot saw a tremendous boom in popularity and was the most planted grape in all of California. While recent years have led to a trend towards Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends, Merlot remains one of the best wines and it often has an affordable price tag! Merlot is very similar to its cousin wines, Malbec and Carmenere, but offers slightly more variety and range than they do. Merlot has a range from light to medium and even heavy bodied. Most Merlot wines are fruity with ripe, red fruit flavors and lower acidity. These qualities make it a great blending wine, in fact, many of your favorite red blends probably have Merlot in them!


Part of what makes Merlot such a versatile wine is that it can be dressed up or dressed down easily. It is a wonderfully flexible wine and there are only a few foods which don’t pair well with it. Merlot is just as suitable for a high-end occasion as it is an everyday occurrence! While you can’t go wrong with any of the Merlot on our shelves, we do have a few favorites, such as these three!


Josh Cellars Merlot


Ghost Pines Merlot


Silverado Merlot Napa