It Had Me At Merlot
As I first began to become familiar with the family business I found myself amongst those individuals who didn't have a wine clue about what I was drinking.
It wasn't until I started doing my research on each varietal that I began to understand how the structure of each grape and the different winemaking processes shape every bottle of wine.
I grabbed a bottle of Decoy and suddenly I was like Rene Zellweger in Jerry Maguire, the glass had me at "Merlot". Softer than Cabernet's, I found myself captivated by aromas and flavors that I hadn't noticed before (or perhaps wasn't inclined to notice).
Deep in color and flavor the Merlot grape derives its name from the French word Merle, which means blackbird. Most commonly used in French Bordeaux, the Merlot grape is one of the most versatile varietals as it acclimates itself to its terrain with easy and is compliant to different winemaking styles.
While Merlot is grown virtually all around the world, there still remains two dominant methods used today. The "International style" and the "Bordeaux Style". The International style, emphasizes late harvesting to ensure maximum ripeness and produce deep colored wines that are full-bodied, higher in alcohol levels, and have supple tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit.
Alternatively, there is the traditional “Bordeaux style" involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain conservative acidity and produce medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavors.
Which do I prefer? We’ll that is all a matter of taste and above all, what is being served. When dinning on a heavier meal like a Steak au Poivre I would opt for the Bordeaux style Silver Palm Merlot , as I don’t ever want to feel too weighed down by both my meal and my wine. However, with a simple Filet Mignon I always prefer an International Style like Bordeaux Superieur Chateau L'Escart.
No matter what your eating just be sure to enjoy a glass at room temperature between 60- 65 degrees.