Do you remember who enjoyed Merlot in a famous Seinfeld episode? (Susan's family and George - but not his mother knew about Merlot.
Merlot is the most widely planted red grape in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France. You'll also find it in southern France, Chile, Italy, Australia, and in the US, especially in California and Washington. It is usually blended in Bordeaux and often appears on its own elsewhere. Merlot has an aromatic bouquet and tastes of berries and plums.
Merlot is a very food-friendly grape. It appears in most, but not all, of our food-pairing tables. Popular combinations include Lamb Chops, Veal Marsala, Duck, and Swiss Cheese.
It is not hard to find French Merlot (but not from Bordeaux) that is quite inexpensive. If you are willing to pay a bit more take a look at Cotes de la Malepère VDQS. The VDQS appellation means that the wine in theorie is not as good as the more prestigious AOC. But there are exceptions. Actually this wine is not pure Merlot but may be blended with other grape varieties including some obscure ones. But the proof is in the pudding. Who can write about Merlot without mentioning Chateau Petrus, one of the world's greatest wines that admittedly does have about 5% Cabernet Franc grapes. Get ready to shell out big, big bucks. I am told that this wine is worth it. Like most of us, I will probably never know. If you want your name in print, send me your Chateau Petrus experiences. Requests for anonimity will be strictly respected. By the way, as reviewed in my article I Love French Wine and Food - A Bordeaux Merlot, I recently tasted a French Merlot made by the guy who did Chateau Petrus. It set me back about $13, and depending on what I was eating I tasted blackberries, plums, tobacco, spices, and others. On the downside the wine was not that long. What do you want for $13? I got it, and more. Just so you know, my wine and food pairing reviews are not always positive.