Today we get to raise a glass and celebrate International Merlot Day. I'm not quite sure exactly where these "International Wine Drinking Days" originate from but I'm always happy to play along. This appears to be a relatively new International wine drinking day, with no mention of it prior to 201. Could this day have been "Hallmarked" to save Merlot from "The Sideways Effect"? Either way are pretty convinced International Merlot Day is November 7th which is reason enough for us to honour this groovy grape.

Merlot actually translates to "young blackbird" in French, The name is thought to have been given to the grape by a french winemaker either because of its beautiful blue-black colour or a blackbird's fondness for the grapes. It's believed to be the off-spring of Cabernet Franc and Magdeline Noire des Charentes and a sibling of Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon.

A classic grape that dates back to 1784, it is full of character and flavour. It's the most popular and widely planted grape in France and found original fame in Bordeaux. Merlot has made it's way across the globe due to it's ability to please all palates, compliment almost any dish, and blend well with other grapes. It's the grape at the heart of some super wines from Tuscany and even America.


Casa Emma, Solio, Italy 2013

Casa Emma, Solio, Italy 2013

This was the first wine in Tuscany to be made only from Merlot, hence its name, which means ‘only me’. This isn’t a big super-Tuscan with massive vanilla and oak flavours, rather it is a wine from Tuscany that tastes like a wine from Tuscany!

A very small quantity of mature Merlot vines give a wine that is ripe and deep on the nose, with notes of bramble and plum, which are met by dried leaf and earthiness. These flavours continue to the palate, which is round and smooth yet still maintains the expected bitter-sweet characteristics so important to Tuscan classics. Buy now

Heritage de Belliard, St. Emilion Grand Cru, 2015

Heritage de Belliard, St. Emilion Grand Cru, 2015Heritage de Belliard is a range of wine produced in the purest Bordeaux tradition. This wine originates from the greatest terroirs of Bordeaux.  The Refinement and Subtlety of this wine will not only impress your palate but will also increase your imagination. This wine is ripe and generous; it is an excellent example of a fruit-forward modern Saint Emilion, it's 80% Merlot 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, Ruby red in colour with a gourmand nose of ripe red. Goes well with any red meat and poultry. Buy now

Chateau La Couronne Reserve 2016

Chateau La Couronne Reserve 2016From the amazing 2016 vintage comes this delicious wine that over-delivers and proves again the quality that can be found in the satellite appellations of famous Bordeaux regions.

Bright, broad, attractive fruit flavours of currants, plum spice and significant minerality. Soft and sweet entry leaving a jolly good first impression. Some drying fruit characteristics met by firm, pleasant tannin". Buy now

Chateau Haut Peyruguet, Bordeaux 2017

Chateau La Couronne Reserve 2016This is a cracking wine that we discovered during our recent marathon Bordeaux tasting. One of only a few to make us really smile, this modern-style Bordeaux is sure to please any one with taste buds and, because it look so smart, it will please those without! And it's great value!

Ruby red in colour, the nose is gently marked by red fruits , spices and even green pepper and black with aeration. Immediately charming , with its fruity notes and its flexibility increased by fine and ripe tannins. Buy now

Happy International Merlot Day!