Pronounced: mer-low

History: Widely grown in France notably the Bordeaux. Merlot seems to have originated in the Bordeaux region of South West France, although it was only recognised in the eighteenth century. The variety has become increasingly important with plantings spreading across Southern France. In Australia Merlot was introduced in the 1960s by the C.S.I.R.O. as it sought to trial a wider range of grape varieties.

Description: Smooth as silk. Premium red variety often used blended with other varieties cabernet etc, to soften wines.

Taste/Aromas: Predominantly fruity and peppery - berries such as blackberry, blackcurrant, raspberry and also plum - with a delightful, silky feel.

Regions: Cooler zones such as Adelaide Hills and South East Australia, and the warmer areas of the Hunter Valley.

Cellaring: A lovely wine to drink now - does not require lengthy periods of storage to come of age.

Food: Italian, Greek, Red meat, such as steak, roast lamb, kangaroo, and other game. Or a good white meat or platter of fish if you desire.