Merlot is a popular red wine grape used as varietal wines and in blends. The most widely planted red grape in Bordeaux region of France, Merlot has enjoyed an increase of popularity in many countries in recent years, including the United States, South America, Italy and Australia. Merlot is now considered one of the world’s most planted grape varieties.
Merlot is a close relative to Cabernet Sauvignon. However it has certain distinctions: it is lower in tannins and produces softer wines. It lacks depth of flavor and ageability typical of its relative; this is why it is often blended with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon. This contribution of the lacking qualities to Merlot makes a very successful wine product.
Cabernet Franc is one of the major red grape varieties in the world. It is a related variety of Cabernet Sauvignon and can be either used alone or in blends with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Blending with Merlot is considered traditional. In a blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc softens the tannins and adds complexity and definition to the overall taste.
Cabernet Franc is thinner-skinned, earlier-ripening and has lower overall acidity. Cabernet Franc vines tend to survive cold winters better than Cabernet Sauvignon. However they are less resistant to Spring frosts.
The “King of Red Wine Grapes,” Cabernet Sauvignon is the most commonly grown red wine grape in the world. Whenever someone is unsure about the choice of wine, he/she is likely to resort to this type as to something traditionally and unfailingly good.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are small, thick-skinned, and produce wines of deep color and tannin. It is considered relatively easy to cultivate, and due to their thick skins they are quite hardy. However, in order to achieve maturity, this type of grape is said to require warmer growing conditions in comparison with other varieties.
When you come to the fine restaurant and the waiter hands you the wine list, you are likely to start feeling a little uncomfortable. When you need to purchase a bottle of wine as a present or for a special occasion, you find yourself marooned in the decision-making process and end up buying the cheapest (or most expensive) wine, depending on your budget. When you are asked about the taste of wine you are having at a dinner-party, you are likely to say something like “It’s nice, not very sweet… Is it Italian?”
After my trip to Catalonia, whenever I needed to purchase a bottle of wine, I found myself browsing supermarket shelves for Rioja wine. Rioja wines are wonderful, and remind me of jamon, paella and Mediterranean. They come from a famous wine-producing region in Spain. If you’ve been trying to find some wine which is great value for money, - look no further.