wine education > International Merlot Day
Merlot is one of the world’s most popular red wine varietals
Merlot is the most widely grown grape in France and the third most widely grown red grape varietal in Australia (according to a study done in 2008). So it’s no wonder there’s a whole day dedicated to it - International Merlot Day. On November 7th, people across the world raised their glasses and celebrated all things Merlot. In case the taste alone wasn’t cause enough for celebration, here are a few other reasons the world loves this wine.
Merlot has a history almost as rich as its flavour. Originating from the famous wine region of Bordeaux, France, it’s believed the name Merlot comes from the French word for blackbird - merle. In 1784, the first ever recordings of Merlot grapes were made by a local official, who announced the grapes as being one of the best in the Bordeaux region. Despite this, it took a while for Merlot to grow in popularity. This was mainly because of setbacks in the health of the grapes in the late 1960s, when several vintages in Bordeaux were lost to rot. As a result, the French even banned the planting of vines in the region between 1970 to 1975. By the 1990s however, Merlot was well and truly on its way to becoming a table favourite world-wide, thanks to new schools of thinking at the time around the consumption of red wine being linked to health benefits.
There are two ways to produce the wine, the traditional ‘Bordeaux style’ way and the ‘International style’. The traditional Bordeaux way means harvesting early, maintaining the acidity of the grapes. This results in a wine that’s medium-bodied with moderate alcohol levels, rich in red berry flavours and leafy notes. The International style favours harvesting the grapes when ripe, creating a more full-bodied Merlot that’s higher in alcohol content with lush, smooth tannins and rich intense flavours of plum and blackberries.
Our Merlot leans towards the Bordeaux style, with a classic Australian Merlot twist. A medium-bodied wine, Jacob’s Creek has fleshy, yet velvety textures with ripe plum and black cherry flavours making this wine a great accompaniment to Italian food. Pair it with pasta, with a slice of your favourite pizza, or with good company.