International Merlot Day : Raise Your Glass on The 7th November!

Merlot enthusiasts, rejoice! While Merlot lovers never need a specific excuse to savor their favorite wine, mark your calendars for the 7th of November, as we celebrate the International Day dedicated to this extraordinary grape. Regardless of where you find yourself in the world, it’s a perfect occasion to raise your Merlot-filled glasses and join in the festivities. Let’s toast to the wonderful world of Merlot!

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1. Bordeaux’s Best-Kept Secret :

Did you know that Merlot is the most planted grape variety in Bordeaux? When we think of Bordeaux wines, the iconic Cabernet Sauvignon often comes to mind, but it’s Merlot that reigns supreme in terms of sheer acreage. In Bordeaux, where vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, Merlot vines cover more than 60% of the landscape, making it the true star of the region. Cabernet Sauvignon, while renowned, takes the second spot with a modest 25% share.

But what makes Bordeaux wines truly fascinating is how these two grape varieties harmoniously coexist. Bordeaux winemakers often blend Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, adjusting the proportions based on where their vineyards are located along the banks of the Gironde estuary. It’s the right bank of Bordeaux that gives Merlot its time to shine. These right bank blends tend to be softer, with lower tannins, alcohol, and acidity levels, showcasing the unique qualities of this beloved grape.

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2. Merlot in the World :

Merlot, often celebrated for its velvety texture and approachable flavors, finds its roots in the picturesque vineyards of Bordeaux, France. While Bordeaux unquestionably stands as the primary stage for this grape’s showcase, Merlot’s allure knows no bounds, captivating palates across the globe. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the world of Merlot beyond the Bordeaux borders.

The name ‘Merlot’ carries a delightful avian connection. In French, ‘Merlot’ translates to ‘young blackbird.’ It is believed that French winemakers bestowed this name upon the grape due to its striking blue-black color, which bears a resemblance to the plumage of a blackbird. Alternatively, the name could be attributed to the fondness blackbirds have for these succulent grapes, making it a fitting moniker.

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3. A Worldwide Love Affair :

Merlot, a grape variety known for its versatility and ability to thrive in various terroirs, has transcended its French origins. It’s not just the most widely planted grape in Bordeaux; it’s also the reigning champion throughout France. Yet, Merlot’s influence extends well beyond French vineyards.

Across the oceans and continents, from the sun-soaked vineyards of Australia to the high-altitude regions of Argentina, from the scenic landscapes of California to the emerging wine scenes of Mexico and Italy, Merlot has found a welcoming home. Its adaptability to different climates and soils has made it a favorite among winemakers in numerous countries.

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4. Pomerol – The Epitome of Merlot Excellence :

Amidst the ebb and flow of Merlot’s reputation, one place stood as an enduring symbol of its excellence: Pomerol, a subregion of Bordeaux. Pomerol is the home to some of the world’s most sought-after fine wines, where Merlot reigns supreme. Château Petrus, with its legendary wines, and its neighbor, Vieux Château Certan, showcase the heights to which Merlot can ascend when nurtured in the right terroir.

These Pomerol estates have long been celebrated for their Merlot-dominant blends, crafting wines of unparalleled elegance, depth, and complexity. The soils and microclimates of Pomerol offer Merlot an ideal canvas to express its true character, creating wines that have captured the hearts of connoisseurs worldwide.

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In conclusion, Merlot Day is a delightful occasion for wine enthusiasts to come together and celebrate the beloved Merlot wine variety. Liquor stores, bars, and restaurants play a key role in the festivities, offering various types of Merlot and enticing discounts on wine bottles. Wine lovers can partake in wine-tasting events and gain insights into the winemaking process through demonstrations. Even if you’re new to Merlot, this day presents an excellent opportunity to savor this popular wine variety. So, sit back, raise a glass, and enjoy a relaxing day with a glass of Merlot while perhaps watching a movie that features this cherished beverage.

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