Merlot Vs Cabernet
- 1 Merlot Vs Cabernet
- 1.1 What is merlot?
- 1.2 Factors to consider before buying merlot:
- 1.3 What is cabernet sauvignon?
- 1.4 Factors to consider before buying cabernet sauvignon wine:
- 1.5 The similarities of merlot and cabernet:
- 1.6 The differences between merlot and cabernet:
- 1.7 The winner:
- 1.8 FAQs:
- 1.9 Conclusion:
What’s the difference between merlot and cabernet? Although both wines are red, they have different flavors that can be appreciated by different palates. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two wines so you can decide for yourself which one is your favorite. We will also provide some tips on how to choose the right bottle of wine for your next dinner party. Cheers!
What is merlot?
Merlot is a popular red wine grape. It originated in France and can be blended with other grapes to produce many great wines, including chardonnay. The name merlot was derived from the French word merle, meaning song or blackbird.
Factors to consider before buying merlot:
Price: If you are looking for an affordable bottle of red wine, merlot is a good place to start. Most bottles cost between $8 and $15.
Region: Merlot grapes are grown all over the world, including North America. The climate will influence the wine’s taste, so it might be different depending on where it was harvested.
Growing and Production: Merlot grapes are mainly used to produce red wine. Depending on where they are grown, merlot wines can usually be classified as dry or sweet. Dry wines taste like black fruits such as blackberry and black currant. Sweet wines taste like red fruits such as raspberry and cherry.
Meat: fish, chicken, pork
Vegetables: green beans, asparagus, carrots
Dessert: chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream
Taste and Flavor: The flavor of a merlot is mostly determined by the place it was produced and how long its grapes were fermented together. If not properly stored, this wine can also develop off-flavors over time so check the expiration date on the bottle before you buy.
How to store merlot: Store your opened bottles of merlot in an airtight container or wine rack away from light. Keep your unopened bottles stored upright on their sides at room temperature.
Origin: The first merlot plant was found growing wild in France but it’s since cultivated all over the world, including the United States.
Color: Merlot is a red wine so its color will be deep crimson or ruby depending on how long it was aged. Some brands may use coloring agents to produce more intense hues of red. If this is important to you, ask if any additives were used before purchasing the bottle. Be sure to check for added sulf too!
Alcohol content: Merlot typically contains between 12 and 14% alcohol by volume (ABV).
Identifying Blends from the Label: Merlot can be found as a stand-alone wine and is often blended with other red grape varieties to make more complex wines. Look for wines made from one or two grapes on the label rather than those mentioning many different grapes.
Where production is Merlot is grown all over the world, including New World and Old-World winemaking regions.
New World Regions: Australia, Chile, California, Washington State, Argentina, and South Africa
Old World Regions: France (Bordeaux), Italy, Spain, and Portugal
Wine age: Most merlots are sold after being aged for a year, so the flavors have time to develop. The exception is inexpensive wines that have been aged for months or even weeks before being bottled and sold. If the expiration date on your bottle of merlot has already passed, do not drink it!
Wine Styles: Merlot can be dry, off dry, or sweet depending on where it was produced and how long its grapes were fermented together. Be sure to check both the sweetness level and vintage year before you buy.
Serving Temperature: Serve merlot between 50 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). Warmer temperatures will accentuate some wines’ more subtle flavors while colder temperatures will suppress more complex flavors.
The tannins: Most merlot wines will have a round and juicy body thanks to the wine’s soft tannins.
The Acid: The acidity of most merlots is medium so you should not notice too much tartness in the taste of your wine. If you would like more tartness, look for wines with higher levels of acidity (such as pinot noir or zinfandel).
Nutritional Facts: A standard 5 oz. a glass of merlot contains around 150 calories with 22 g of carbohydrate and 0 grams of protein. It also contains trace amounts of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. No vitamins A or C are found in this wine.
Health Benefits: Merlot is a good source of antioxidants and resveratrol which can improve heart health. The alcohol in merlot can also help lower blood glucose levels and increase the amount of HDL cholesterol – a type of good cholesterol located in your bloodstream.
Winemaking: Merlots are made using the same winemaking techniques as other red wines except for one notable difference. When most reds ferment, their juice is exposed to grape skins, seeds, and stems floating in the wine vat. Merlot grapes are pressed before they are fermented so that none of these components end up in the final product. This means less tannins and acidity than wines made from other grapes where the skin is included during fermentation.
Blending: Merlots are often blended with other types of wine to give the final product a more complex taste. Common examples include cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, and malbec. This blend of grapes is known as a “meritage” after merlot’s starring role in these wines. Just like any other red wine, merlots that have been created from just one grape will have richer flavors than those that have been blended with several different varieties of grapes.
What is cabernet sauvignon?
Cabernet franc grape vines were first discovered in Southwest France by an 18th century French soldier. Now it’s the second most widely produced red grape after merlot. Cabernet sauvignon originated from southwest France but is not only popular around the world, but also one of the most famous wines to come out of Bordeaux, France.
Factors to consider before buying cabernet sauvignon wine:
Price: Cabernet sauvigon can be expensive since producers are very selective about which grapes make it into their bottles. You can usually expect to pay between $13 and $20 for a good bottle of cabernet sauvignon.
Region: Cabernet sauvignon is produced all over the world, including China and Australia. Climate influences taste, so it can be different depending on where it was made. The terroir (climate + soil quality) of Bordeaux, France produces wines with smooth tannins and flavors like black currant and bell pepper.
Growing and Production: This wine is mainly used as a blending grape but can also be drank un-blended because it contains high levels of tannins that give it structure. Some producers use this grape as a single varietal to produce intense red wines with flavors like currant and mocha.
Cheese: This wine is great paired with cheese. Try pairing it with Italian cheeses like Asiago, Parmesan, and Pecorino. It’s also delicious with cow’s milk cheese like Brie or Double Gloucester.
Beef: The tannins in this wine make it great against bold flavors. It pairs well with dishes featuring earthy vegetables such as mushrooms, caramelized onions, shallots, leeks. Beef tenderloin, short ribs, hanger steak are all good options for serving with this wine
Fish/ Seafood: Cabernet sauvignon works well with seafood especially shellfish. It also pairs great with dishes made with tomatoes, shallots, garlic, olives.
Pork: This wine makes a perfect pair for pork because of the similarities in flavor profile. Pork tenderloin, grilled chops, glazed ham are all good choices when pairing this wine.
Cab Sauv is rich enough to be paired with chocolate desserts like chocolate mousse.
It’s also delicious with fruit-based desserts like blueberry cobbler or raspberry tart.
Cheesecake is another popular option when pairing red wines.
Taste and Flavor: This wine is known for its dry tannin taste and fruity flavor. Black currant and bell pepper are common flavors found in this varietal and can be tasted depending on where it was produced.
How to store cabernet sauvignon wine: Store your opened bottles of red wine in a cool dark place away from sunlight. If you want to keep the bottle upright make sure it’s standing on its base (not neck). Unopened bottles should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight.
Origin: The original location that cabernet plants were found growing is Southwest France. Cabernet wine is now produced around the world including California, Chile, and Australia.
Color: Although this isn’t a white wine, it has bluish tinge to it making it appear slightly lighter than other red wines.
Alcohol content: It contains between 12 and 14% ABV.
Identifying Blends from the Label: You can usually find the percentage of grapes the wine is blended with by looking at the label. Extra-Dry wines are also called “Brut” and contain 0 to 6 grams sugar per liter. Dry wines contain between 1- and 4-grams sugar per liter. Semi-sweet wines have up to 7 grams of sugar per liter. Sweet wines contain 8 or more grams of sugar.
Where production takes place:
California: you can find this wine labeled as ” California Cabernet Sauvignon”. The Napa and Sonoma Valleys are the most important regions in the state for making quality wines. These wines tend to be bold and full-bodied like black cherry and chocolate with a rich, long finish.
Washington State: Washington’s climate is quite like that of France; this allows producers to make cabernet sauvignon that tastes like other Bordeaux varietals such as Merlot and Petit Verdot. They’re often made like red Bordeaux (with aging in oak barrels) which add flavors like vanilla and spice.
Chile: This grape grows well in Chile’s dry climate which produces wines with more structure, tannins, and color. Notable wine regions include Maipo Valley Chianti, Casablanca Valley, San Antonio Valley, Aconcagua Valley, Santa Rita Hills.
South Africa: The southernmost region of South Africa is very warm and dry which favors cabernet sauvignon production. Some producers grow the grapes at high altitudes to produce red wines with spicy notes like cloves or black pepper.
Wine age: Cabernet sauvignon comes in red and white. White wines age differently than reds so they can be aged for different amounts of time.
Red wines are usually kept in cellars for 6 to 12 months before being released onto markets.
White wines are aged for 8 to 18 months after they’ve been bottled before being sold on the market.
Bordeaux style: This wine is full-bodied, rich, and spicy with flavors of black currant, bell pepper, raspberry.
Californian style: It’s medium- to full-bodied with intense fruit flavor ranging from blackberry to strawberry.
Italian Style: Cabernet sauvignon in Italian wines is sometimes blended with Sangiovese grapes. These wines tend to be lighter in taste than other wines made from this grape. They have high acidity which makes them great for pairing with food.
Red wines are usually served at room temperature around 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
White wines should be served chilled around 50 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The tannins in cabernet sauvignon are softened when they’re served warm.
The Acid: is high in cabernet sauvignon which gives it a dry taste.
Cabernet sauvignon contains high levels of antioxidants in the form of phenols and anthocyanins.
It also contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.
Cabernets contain flavonoids and anthocyanins which are antioxidants that combat cell damage. These compounds can reduce your risk for heart disease and cancer by preventing the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol. This lowers your chances for atherosclerosis or clogging of the arteries, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. The alcohol in this wine acts as a blood thinner so it reduces the stickiness of platelets allowing blood to flow efficiently.
Wine and grape consumption can help reduce the risk of obesity by increasing HDL cholesterol levels which protects against metabolic syndrome. This lowers the number of fat cells in your body, reduces insulin resistance, blood sugar, and bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol.
Wine contains 1 gram of protein per 100 grams so it’s a great source of dietary fiber. It provides you with 0% daily value for calcium and vitamin D.
It has a low amount of potassium, sodium, and magnesium which helps absorb nutrients from other foods that you eat. These minerals also help maintain proper muscle function, nerve transmissions, water balance and normal blood pressure. The resveratrol found in red wine is known to lower blood pressure slightly, reduce insulin resistance, improve blood flow, decrease appetite, and enhance memory.
Cabernet sauvignon grapes are harvested by hand or machine.
After the grapes are harvested, they’re crushed and transferred into a fermentation tank where yeast is added to begin the process of converting sugar into alcohol. If this wine will be aged in oak barrels it must first go through malolactic fermentation which turns tart malic acid into softer lactic acids.
The red juice from cabernet sauvignon grapes is separated from the skins and seeds with pneumatic presses. It’s then transferred to stainless steel tanks for about 2 weeks during maceration where it absorbs color and flavor from the grape skins before being pressed again to extract more color and flavors from the stems seeds. Cabernets typically spend 18 to 24 months aging in oak barrels before they’re bottled. The wine is unfiltered and undergoes cold stabilization where the wine is kept at a cool temperature for about 8 weeks to remove any extra proteins and particles that may cloud the liquid.
Blending: Cabernet sauvignon is a sturdy grape that easily takes on the flavor of its blending partner. Most commonly it’s blended with other red wine grapes. These include petite verdot, malbec, cabernet franc, merlot and/or syrah. The flavors from these grapes work well with or enhance cabernet sauvignon because they have similar characteristics such as bold tannins and high concentrations of natural sugars that develop into alcohol during fermentation.
The similarities of merlot and cabernet:
When it comes to merlot and cabernet sauvignon there are quite a few similarities. Both wines are made from the same grape, have similar color palettes, have similar flavors, are produced around the world.
The differences between merlot and cabernet:
You may find it difficult to distinguish between cabernet sauvignon and merlot wines because they are quite similar. Although both wines are red, merlots tend to have a bit of a lighter flavor. Here’s how you can tell the difference between them:
Cabernets have more tannins than a typical merlot which makes it more acidic.
Merlots tend to be softer and smoother on the palate which makes them easy to drink.
In general, cabernet is bolder with flavors of dark fruit such as blueberry, cherry, but some have been known to taste like chocolate or peppermint.
Meanwhile, although some people find that some merlots sometimes taste like blackberry or plum, they’re usually lighter in flavor than cabernets with flavors of soft red fruits like strawberry, raspberries.
Merlot is a fast-aging wine, so the quality declines quickly. This makes it one of the least expensive bottles you can find at your grocery store or local liquor stores.
Merlot is lighter than Cabernet.
Although cabernet sauvignon is bolder with flavors of dark fruit, merlot wines are lighter in taste. The acidity levels also vary between the two wines which can make it difficult to distinguish between them. If you’re looking for a wine that will go perfectly with food, you may want to choose a merlot because of its low tannins and high acidity that makes it easy to pair with different types of cuisine. However, if you aren’t worried about pairing your wine with different kinds of food then go ahead and try either one! They’re both good choices depending on your preferences although most people find they’re not so different after all!
What is the primary difference between a merlot and cabernet?
Merlots are usually lighter in flavor which makes them easier to drink alongside food. Cabernets have more tannins, more acidity, and are bolder in flavor.
What is the healthiest wine to drink?
The healthiest wine to drink is the one that you enjoy drinking most. If you are concerned about choosing a healthy wine then stick with wines that are low in sulfites, have lower alcohol content, and are middle of the road in terms of sugar levels.
How long will cabernet sauvignon last after opening?
Cabernet sauvignon should be consumed within two days after opening. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days after opening.
How long will merlot last after opening?
Merlot can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days after opening.
Which it is right for me?
Both merlot and cabernet sauvignon are great choices depending on the flavor you’re anticipating. If you like your wine to be bolder and more acidic then go ahead and opt for a Cabernet. However, if you prefer a lighter taste then pick up a Merlot!
The pros and cons of merlot vs cabernet
It has a soft and rich texture.
Produces wines with lots of fruit flavors like plum and blackberry.
Fast-aging wine, so the quality declines quickly. This makes it one of the least expensive bottles you can find at your grocery store or local liquor stores.
It takes longer to age than merlot which adds complexity to its taste. The more complex the wine, the more it’ll cost. It also tastes good after aging for 5 years or more. This grape produces dark fruits such as blackcurrant and blackberry.
Longer lasting flavors because it’s less fruity than other red grapes. Minimal storage is required.
The more complex the wine, the more it’ll cost. It’s high in tannins which can make it harder to drink when young. This grape produces dark fruits such as blackcurrant and blackberry.
There are many factors that go into wine taste, including terroir, grape variety, and production methods. However, when it comes down to it, personal preference is probably the biggest factor in determining which red wine you like best. Do some research on your favorite wines and try a few different types of merlots and cabernets to see which one you prefer. With a little experimentation, you’ll be able to find the perfect bottle (or two) of red wine for your next gathering or dinner party.