Wine Adven-ture Calendar Day 14: The Perfect Match Merlot (IGP)

Winery Location: France (Pays d’Oc IGP)

Ah, Merlot…

This grape has had a bit of a bad rep over the recent years; some folks blame the movie Sideways (aka the “Sideways effect”) or simply overproduction leading to “forgettable” wines. Either way it is unfortunate, for Merlot is a versatile grape. Merlot is often used in classic blended wines like Bordeaux to bring body and softness, and by itself it often makes a smooth, rounded wine that is easy to drink. So like a good musician, Merlot is great as a solo player and a bandmate.

The Perfect Match is a Merlot from Pays d’Oc in the south of France. It is rich in aromas of red fruit and spice, and the palate is a nice combination of fruit and structure. It has bright, fresh flavors of cherry, strawberry, currant and menthol. I found the tannins to be a touch on the aggressive side, not quite as silky as Costco’s tasting notes, but still pleasant nonetheless. The finish is nice and long with red fruit that lingers on the palate after the sip.

Despite the setback in reputation, Merlots are thankfully making a comeback and I liked Perfect Match – it is simple and hearty and seems to pair well with rib sticking fare like wild mushroom dishes. But it is also a nice Merlot to just sit back and unwind with after a busy day, and that’s how I’m enjoying it.

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