- 20th annual Taste Washington offers 20% discountPosted 2 days ago
- Brian Carter, Reininger, Walla Walla Vintners hoist Jefferson CupsPosted 5 days ago
- Sager Small set to take College Cellars education back to Woodward CanyonPosted 6 days ago
- Wine Yakima Valley rallies to support food banksPosted 1 week ago
- BC wine industry mourns Wild Goose founder Adolf KrugerPosted 1 week ago
- Ste. Michelle calls 2016 harvest biggest, longest for Washington winePosted 2 weeks ago
- Giving thanks for Northwest wine on ThanksgivingPosted 2 weeks ago
- ¡Salud! auction for Oregon vineyard worker healthcare sets recordPosted 2 weeks ago
- College Cellars spins Muscat into gold year after yearPosted 2 weeks ago
- Lake Chelan winery wins Tri-Cities Wine Festival with GSMPosted 3 weeks ago
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.