- Union Wine Co. doubles production, adds sales reps beyond Oregon
- Abacela brings home more gold with Grenache rosé
- Individual tickets available for 32nd annual IPNC in Oregon
- Taste Washington grows attendance by 15 percent
- Deep roots in wine lead Elizabeth Bourcier to La Rata in Walla Walla
- Tony Rynders helps Open Claim Vineyards start with Chardonnay
- Seattle businessmen buy controlling interest in Walla Walla’s Abeja
- British Columbia wines golden at California’s Pacific Rim judging
- Wild Goose Vineyards Pinot Gris repeats as Cascadia best of show
- GSM among Washington’s most delicious blends
Washington Merlot: It’s the soil and a lot more
It’s as though Merlot was made for Washington’s Columbia Valley.
In many areas of the world, including its native Bordeaux and particularly in California, Merlot would seem to play second fiddle to Cabernet Sauvignon. But Washington Merlot is pretty special. (All of this said, many great Merlots are made in Bordeaux, starting with Chateau Petrus.)
Merlot is a sensitive grape, reacting to its environment as much as most varieties. In regions with rich soils, Merlot will sprout like a weed, focusing on putting out ample leaves and foliage with little effort toward the clusters of grapes.
But in Washington where the soil is sandy and generally devoid of nutrients, Merlot finally struggles. This forces the noble red variety to focus on the reproductive part of the vine: those grapes. And when Merlot finally does that, the result can be dark and rich.
In fact, many West Coast wine experts see Washington Merlot as the bigger, bolder, more tannic wine over Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here are a few of our favorite Washington Merlot food pairings:
- Pasta dishes such as tortellini in a rich red sauce.
- Braised short ribs.
- Pork chops.
- Roast duck.
- Grilled flank steak.
Looking for a few suggestions on delicious Washington Merlots? Click that right-facing arrow above to read about a dozen delicious examples we’ve tasted recently.