Where did Merlot go?
When is it coming back?
Merlot used to be the most popular wine drank all over the world. It used to be everyone’s “go to” red wine. So where did it go?
What Happened to Change Things?
This lovely red wine took a siesta in 2004 due to a movie about wine. A quote from this movie spread through the wine industry like wildfire and Merlot became an outcast over night.
Nobody wants to drink something that isn’t the “in” thing. Think about it. How many times have you been somewhere and seen a colorful drink served with a crazy straw or some type of garnish, such as an umbrella served in it? Next thing you know there is one at every table! It doesn’t matter what that drink tastes like.
People are not ordering it because it tastes good. They are ordering it because it looks cool and everyone else has it. Merlot used to be that colorful drink with the umbrella. It was appealing because it sounded cool to say. It sounded complicated but was easy to drink. Merlot has been and will be one of the most popular grapes in the world because of this.
& Now …
Merlot to some people became a generic way to order wine. “I’ll just have a beer…I’d like a martini…a glass of Merlot for me please.” This tells the person serving the wine that the person ordering the wine doesn’t really care all that much about how the wine tastes. It just needs to be red wine served in a fancy glass.
Just like if someone says they just want a beer that person generally only cares about two things: 1) that beer needs to be ice cold and 2) it should be light and easy to drink. This is what people began to expect from Merlot. A nice soft, easy to drink red wine in a fancy glass.
Marvelous Merlot is Making a Comeback
On the restaurant scene, we see that this medium bodied red wine is once again being requested by name with thought behind it. More than that … folks that order it are enjoying it. Californians are once again enjoying it.
So in conclusion, Merlot is back and it’s still for everyone! It appeals to everyone because it can be drank by everyone. So whether you are drinking box wine out of a styrofoam cup or a ten thousand dollar bottle of it out of crystal glassware just make sure you are enjoying it.
Wine Wisdom & Merlot?
When you order this lovely wine, look for either a “berry jam” or “red currant” flavor. The “berry jam” flavor comes from vineyards in warmer climates and the “red currant” flavor is present in grapes grown in cooler climates.
Did you know that California Merlots often have blackberry or vanilla flavor note? While Washington state Merlots offer red plum and cedar notes.
Isn’t it terrific how our love of wines can help us sample a world of flavors like this?
Want to learn more about wine? Read our post from last month on Cabernet Sauvignon it is typically the wine many confuse with Merlot on blind taste tests.