September 25, 2023

Episode #654 – Oh No! Where’s All the Merlot?

Poor Merlot. It just can’t seem to catch a break! It’s one of your host’s downright favorite varietals, and he proudly extols its virtues despite the fact that it has been so badly maligned by much of the wine community for what seems like an eternity. Many say that the movie Sideways was responsible for dealing Merlot its most devastating blow. David says, not so fast. He contends the movie opened the Pinot Noir floodgates… and much of that Pinot was below average at best. In the meantime, Merlot that wasn’t cutting it disappeared into oblivion and so-so Merlot got better and better. So this might really be the golden age of Merlot. There’s just one problem… there isn’t nearly enough of it to meet demands for either single varietal seekers or for Bordeaux blending.

Now, if you want to wrap your arms around what is really happening with Merlot, the go to person is wine and food journalist Sophia McDonald. Sophia just completed an in-depth look at what the heck is going on with Merlot. The article appeared in 750 Daily and breaks down the issues causing the Merlot shortage and what winegrowers are trying to do about it. Apart from being a very popular single-varietal red wine, Merlot is an essential ingredient in most Bordeaux blends, so it is mighty strange that the grape could be in such high demand but seriously underplanted just the same. Learn the whole truth about the plight of Merlot from an author who has really done her homework, on this installment of Grape Encounters.
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