“No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!” -Paul Giamatti
Since the movie Sideways, Merlot has been regarded by some as the less attractive sister to Pinot Noir. This may partially be the result of industry gossip, the real impact of that line may be minimal. But, I’ll leave the analysis of the economic impact and consumer perception to the wine economists.
The name Merlot, is thought to come from the French word merle, which means young black bird. A Bordeaux varietal that often requires blending because the acidity of Merlot can be rather flaccid. Excellent Merlot is known for deep fruit flavor of chocolate, plum, and cherry. Aromas of leather and weathered wood also characterize Merlot. It always requires aging in oak barrels. It is produced throughout the world from France to Argentina. In Chile, the close cousin to Merlot, Carménère was accidentally sold as Merlot on the world market. Carménère is a more herbaceous wine with flavor of bell pepper, but if made correctly it can also be a well priced, tasty wine.