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Savoring the Merlot: What Does Merlot Taste Like?

Merlot tastes like a smooth and indulgent symphony on your tongue.

It starts with a gentle kiss of juicy red fruit like cherry, raspberry, and plum, pursued by a velvety softness that unravels across your palate.

The tannins are supple and easy-going, making it a wonderful pairing for everything from pizza to grilled meats.

Some Merlots are bold and spicy, while others are more restrained with a whiff of oak and vanilla.

But all Merlots retain the same approachable character that makes them a favorite among wine lovers.

So, grab a bottle of Merlot and savor its seductive charm.

What is Merlot?

Merlot means “the little blackbird” in French.

It comes in blue, red, and black grape varieties, making it a versatile wine grape.

It’s a sibling of Cabernet Sauvignon, as it’s the offspring of Magdeleine Noire des Charentes and Cabernet Franc.

Merlot monopolizes the vineyards of Bordeaux, France, and is grown in similar climates as Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc.

It’s a dry wine with noticeable tannins that aren’t very intense.

The wine features a medium body and acidity.

The flavors vary banking on the region and winemaking process.

Merlot is a soft and approachable red wine that pairs well with many foods.

It has medium-balanced acidity, alcohol, and tannin, creating a smooth and easy drinking experience.

Merlot is the most widely planted grape in France and the second most planted grape in the USA, and it is the leading grape in some of the world’s most expensive wines.

What Does Merlot Taste Like?

When you pour yourself a glass of Merlot, you’ll immediately notice its deep ruby color.

As you bring the glass to your nose, you’ll catch wafts of cherry, plum, and bay leaf.

But as you take a sip, your palate will be greeted by a symphony of flavors that are both familiar and intriguing.

The primary flavors of Merlot are cherry, plum, chocolate, bay leaf, and vanilla.

But depending on where the wine is from and how it’s made, you might also detect notes of strawberry, tobacco, cranberry, herbs, cola, and licorice.

The best Merlot has a range of flavors that can include graphite, blackberries, black cherries, plums, cocoa, clove, and cedar when aged in oak.

Merlot grapes can thrive sufficiently in diverse environments.

However, the ultimate flavor will fluctuate banking on the temperature of the region.

In warmer climates, such as California and Australia, Merlot will be deeper in color with bigger fruit flavors like raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

These wines will often have a higher alcohol content and age in oak, which adds notes of vanilla, chocolate, and smoky cedar.

In colder climates such as Bordeaux, Merlot will be lighter in color and more structured, with earthy flavors like tobacco, tar, herbs, black truffle, and allspice.

These wines tend to have a lower alcohol content and are often mistaken for Cabernet Sauvignon when tasted blind.

Merlot is lauded for its wild black cherry zest and chocolate glaze.

This wine is well-balanced and smooth in acidity.

This balance makes Merlot easy to drink and a flawless companion for a mixture of spreads.

How to Serve Merlot?

To serve Merlot at its best, start by chilling it for 15 minutes in the refrigerator to reach the favorable temperature range of 60°F-65°F.

If you store it at the temperature of the room, remember to cool it down before serving.

Resist over-chilling it as the subtle flavors will be lost.

When opening a bottle of Merlot, let it breathe for at least 20 minutes, ideally for an hour, to permit the wine to aerate properly.

Use a wine glass or goblet for serving, as they intensify the wine’s aroma and flavor.

If you have some leftover Merlot, replace the cork and store it in the fridge, where it will stay fresh for 2-4 days.

If it’s been open for too long, don’t waste it. Use it in a braised meat or vegetable dish.

Merlot is a protean wine that pairs flawlessly with many types of food.

It’s a perfect match for salads, light pasta dishes, and even desserts like chocolate.

Remember to serve it at the right temperature, and you’ll enjoy its soft, fruity taste to the fullest.

To bring out the best in Merlot, serve it in a cool, dimly lit environment.

And always handle the wine bottle by the stem to prevent the heat from your hands from affecting the temperature of the wine.


Merlot is a flavorful red wine that gives prominence to dark fruits like black cherries, plums, and blackberries with a delightful chocolatey finish.

The climate in which it’s grown plays a significant role in its taste profile, with cooler regions producing wines with tobacco and tar notes and warmer regions yielding bigger fruit flavors.

Merlot wines are highly appreciated for their well-balanced acidity and soft tannins, providing a smooth and easy-to-drink experience.

This versatility allows it to pair well with both savory and sweet dishes, making it a great choice for any occasion.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or just starting, Merlot is a wine that deserves a spot in your collection.

What Does Merlot Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?

Savor the smooth, approachable taste of Merlot, a popular red wine varietal. With its medium-bodied profile, Merlot typically exhibits flavors of ripe red fruits like cherry and plum, along with notes of herbs, spices, and sometimes chocolate. Its soft tannins and easy-drinking nature make it a crowd-pleaser among wine enthusiasts.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


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Keyword What Does Merlot Taste Like
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