Merlot for mofos

By Vinomofo
4 months ago
3 min read

Picture a mountain. It takes an hour to climb it and an hour to go around it. Every hundred years a little blackbird (a merlot, in French) comes and sharpens its beak on the mountain, and when the entire mountain is chiselled away, the first second of eternity will have passed… and your wine nerd friend might by then no longer be talking about how the film Sideways ruined merlot for them. Forget that, here’s the real need to know when it comes to merlot.

Check out: Domaine la Bouche du Roi Les Trois Corneilles Merlot 2020


Why mofos like merlot

Us mofos have a lot of time for merlot - we recognise it for what it is, a team player. It parks itself firmly between camps and strikes a balance between most things us wine loving ‘Fos are looking for - classic merlot sits between your lighter reds (like pinot noir) and heavier, fuller bodied wines (like its classic dance partner, cab sav). This balance makes it more versatile than you’d think, and it does well at the dinner table.

Check out: Chateau Brown Pessac-Leognan 2016

What to expect with a merlot

Flavours and aromas of merlot tend to typically be on the red fruited side for cooler climate examples - think strawberry, cherry, raspberry, red plum - with warmer climates capable of giving merlot darker, more concentrated fruit (think black plum and blackberry). 

Its medium to medium-high levels of acid, tannin and body helps add a levity to its darker, more brooding cousins like cab sav when they’re blended together. Merlot is also almost always oaked by winemakers to bring out classically stylistic flavours and aromas of vanilla and cloves.

Check out: Château Hautes Versannes Saint-Emilion 2020

What temperature should I serve merlot at?

Nothing complicated here - room temperature is great for merlot, 15-19°C.

What foods pair with merlot?

It’s easy to be sceptical of anything that sits on the fence, but the great thing about being considered “middle of the road” is that merlot can steer in whichever direction you choose without upsetting the rest of your passengers at the table.

Merlot from Chile, Italy and France (considered as “cooler climate” for Merlot) do well with leaner meats and grilled or roasted veggies - so your roast chicken, or grilled pork. 

For merlot from warmer climes (we’re talking California, Argentina and Oz), the more darkly fruited richness adds succulence to your darker meat and umami pairings - so roast beef, portobello mushroom, kangaroo, duck or game all get a fair look in.

Both camps do well with cheese and charcuterie, though play your pairing by the selection - for lighter cheeses/selections go cooler climate merlot; for your bigger, riper cheesy hitters head for where it's warm.


When should I be drinking merlot?

Given the above, you can see why merlot is a great choice for an easy Sunday roast wine with the fam; it plays well with the food likely to be on offer and it’s unlikely to offend. 

However, we can do better than that - it’s the perfect Chinatown BYO wine. Merlot, meet plum sauce, meet hoisin crispy duck, meet sweet and sour pork. See you at Shanghai Village? 

Here's the merlot, mofo.

Hey Kids!

Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence:

  • to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (penalty exceeds $17,000).
  • for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (penalty exceeds $700)

Liquor Licence No. 36300937


At Vinomofo, we love our wine, but we like to also lead long and happy lives, and be good to the world and the people in it. We all try to drink responsibly, in moderation, and we really hope you do too.

Don’t be that person…

Acknowledgement of Country

Vinomofo acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continued connection to the land and waters of this country.

We acknowledge this place always was, and always will be Aboriginal land.