How To Drink Merlot

As a wine enthusiast, I am thrilled to share my insights on how to truly savor a glass of merlot. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a novice exploring the world of red wines, …

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As a wine enthusiast, I am thrilled to share my insights on how to truly savor a glass of merlot. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a novice exploring the world of red wines, merlot offers a delightful experience for the palate. This versatile varietal is known for its smoothness, medium body, and approachable flavors, making it a perfect choice for many occasions.

Choosing the Right Merlot

When selecting a bottle of merlot, I recommend exploring options from different regions to appreciate the diverse profiles this varietal can offer. Whether it’s a luscious merlot from Napa Valley, a robust expression from Bordeaux, or a fruit-forward gem from Chile, each bottle has its own story to tell.

Decanting for Optimal Enjoyment

Before diving into the sensory journey that merlot has to offer, consider decanting the wine to enhance its flavors and aromas. I find that allowing the wine to breathe for at least 30 minutes can truly elevate the drinking experience. It’s like giving the merlot a chance to stretch and reveal its full potential.

The Art of Swirling and Sniffing

As I pour the velvety merlot into a suitable glass, I take a moment to appreciate its beautiful color – a deep crimson that hints at the rich flavors awaiting me. Then comes the delicate swirl to awaken the aromas, followed by a series of gentle sniffs to capture the nuances of dark fruits, subtle spices, and perhaps a hint of earthiness.

Sipping and savoring

Now, it’s time for the most anticipated moment – the first sip. The lushness of the merlot fills my senses, and I take a moment to savor the layers of flavor dancing on my palate. The ripe plum, the smooth vanilla, and the soft tannins all come together in a harmonious symphony that lingers with every sip.

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Pairing with Culinary Delights

Merlot’s food-friendly nature makes it a joy to pair with various dishes. From classic pairings like roasted lamb or grilled steak to more adventurous matches like mushroom risotto or eggplant parmesan, merlot’s versatility shines through, enhancing the dining experience with each delectable bite.

Temperature Matters

When it comes to serving merlot, the ideal temperature can truly make a difference. I prefer to enjoy mine at around 60-65°F (15-18°C), allowing the wine to express its full range of flavors without being too warm or too cold.

Embracing the Moment

As I indulge in the last sips of the merlot, I find that each glass tells a unique story – a tale of the vineyards, the winemakers, and the craftsmanship behind the bottle. There’s a certain magic in savoring a glass of merlot, embracing the moment, and relishing in the simple pleasures of life.


With its inviting character and captivating depth, merlot has a remarkable way of bringing people together and creating unforgettable memories. Whether shared among friends, paired with a delicious meal, or savored in solitude, the enchanting allure of merlot never fails to leave a lasting impression.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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