The Grapevine

Food & Wine Pairing: Merlot

April 21st, 2017

Much maligned in the wake of the movie Sideways, Merlot didn’t deserve the hate it got. [level-members]

Then again, it didn’t deserve all the love it had gotten to get under Miles’ skin. A pretty – and easy-to-pronounce name that somehow has an air of, “I know what I’m talking about” to it will do that for you …

Regardless of how we got here, there are plenty of excellent Merlots and blends that include a significant amount of Merlot. So, while I admit it’s silly to ask, “What pairs with Merlot?” you will get customers walking into your shop with that question.

There are, of course, a number of different styles of Merlot, and each will pair with different kinds of foods.

If your customer is serving steaks or a lamb roast or any kind of grilled chop, a Bordeaux-style Merlot will work well, particularly if the preparation of the dish is classic and elegant.

Lighter styles of Merlot can work well with grilled chicken, cheese and meat platters, and even pizza.

In between those poles, what works will depend on what you stock, but there are Merlots that will work well with burgers, pasta in red sauce, even some spicier dishes.

Merlot isn’t necessarily a great choice for very light fare or for cream sauces, but for just about anything else, you can find a good bottle to recommend to your wine shop customers. [/level-members]