#Winesday: The Merlot Low-Down

November 7th was National Merlot Day! Join in on our week-long celebration and get the low-down on this popular red wine varietal.


Today, Merlot is the second most widely-planted wine grape in the entire world after Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s known for being well-balanced, smooth and perfect for pairing. Don’t let preconceived notions or shade from Sideways dissuade you, this wine is one to try.

Region of origin

Right Bank of Bordeaux, France

Typical characteristics – balanced, smooth, velvety

Sweetness – Dry

Body – Medium to full

Tannins – Medium

Bitterness – Medium

Alcohol By Volume  – 13-15%, depending on the region

Acidity – Medium

Flavor profile

Fruits – Cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries

Non-fruits – Cocoa, earth, mushrooms, tea leaf


Cheeses – Cheddar, camembert, stilton

Meats – Poultry, beef, game, pork

Vegetables – Mushrooms, root vegetables

Sweets – Dark chocolate cake


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Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

  1. Hi, is there such a thing as Merlot that’s too dry? I love the taste of all berries but the dryness of the aftertaste really turns me off. I’m trying to drink more red wine and I think Merlot is the most healthy? I’m not normally a drinker.

  2. Hi Lori! Great question. Merlot is known for being well-balanced with smooth tannins, making it a great wine to start with if you’re looking to try more reds! Wines higher in tannin – like Cabernet Sauvignon – cause the drying sensation in your mouth, so it sounds like Merlot, especially a fruit-forward bottle from the New World, would be a good fit for your taste! Let us know if you have any other questions about wines, we are always happy to chat! Cheers!

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