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Key grapes: Merlot

Pity poor Merlot. The butt of the joke in the movie Sideways (link … note NSFW). And ever since Miles went off about Merlot, the sales have been down.

But that has resulted in two things: the crappy Merlot has been ripped out of the ground, and the people that make great Merlot have doubled down on quality.

A wonderful Merlot is one of my favorite glasses of wine. So rich, so smooth, so … comfortable.

Links for learning about Merlot

Good overall information: 1, 2, 3.

From the Guild of Sommeliers: Hope for Merlot

Statistics regarding California’s Merlot harvest (by the ton) can be confusing to look at. They are wildly all over the place, and also don’t show the “Sideways effect” to a great degree. What’s going on? The rise of blended red wines as a category has helped Merlot numbers in the last ten year. These wines may not even mention that Merlot is in the bottle, and it’s become a great way for farmers to sell the grapes and winemakers to make juicy, approachable wines.

One more good overview on Merlot with food pairings.