Thinking back, I can remember a time when merlot was all the craze. It was widely popular and one of the most planted varieties around the world. Now, I find people telling me that they don’t like merlot more than any other grape variety that I know. The funny part is that they usually can’t tell me why they don’t like merlot.
There has been reference made to the movie Sideways and Paul Giamatti’s character, Miles, who goes into a rant about not wanting to drink merlot. Is it really possible that this movie affected the consumption of merlot to such a degree? In this country, I’d say the answer is yes.
If you are one of those that shunned merlot because of a fictional character’s rant, then I believe it’s time that you go out and buy a bottle of the wine. Why? Because merlot is no longer the chardonnay of red wine. Due to the decrease in sales, much of the large-scaled bulk merlot that may have changed your opinion seven years ago is no longer in the spotlight. In fact, a number of regions have taken merlot to new levels.
There’s a good reason that merlot became so popular in the first place, it can be seductive and engaging as a single variety and it makes for an excellent blending partner. When it comes to pairing merlot with food, there are some great examples to be found due to the various styles and different regions that are making excellent merlot.
So, hang your preconceptions at the door while we explore a number of appealing wines and some tasty recipes to pair with them.
— Eric Guido, Snooth