Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are two of the most popular red wines. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, choosing the right wine may be difficult, especially when comparing these two red wines.
We’ll discuss what distinguishes them and assist you in selecting the best wine for you.
The Merlot grape originated in the Cabernet area of France, where it is still the most frequently farmed grape, although it is now grown and produced worldwide. Merlot’s flavor profile can vary substantially depending on how it was made, as two main processes are usually employed to manufacture the wine.
The ‘Bordeaux Style’ of Merlot production is less frequent but more common in Old World wine areas.
Old World wine refers to nations producing wine for over 400 years, mostly European countries like France, Spain, and Portugal. “New World wine” refers to nations producing wine for less than 400 years, such as the United States and Australia.
Tasting Notes For Merlot
- Fruity black cherry to plum flavors with chocolate undertones
- Smoother and easier to drink, with less tannin and acidity.
- At an early age, he drinks well.
Cabernet can refer to various wines, although Cabernet Sauvignon is the most well-known. It is also a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It was developed in the Southwestern area of France and is said to be so popular among winemakers due to its ease of cultivation.
The taste and flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon, like other wines, can be substantially altered by how it is created. Whether Cabernet has been matured or fermented in oak barrels, as well as the quantity of maceration the grape undergoes before production, are often the major drivers of flavor.
Tasting Notes For Cabernet Sauvignon
- Fruit flavors of black currant with tobacco and pepper overtones
- Fuller-bodied with a high tannin content
- Very age-appropriate
A Brief Origin Story
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot originated in Bordeaux, France, and are descended from the same parent grape, Cabernet Franc. The varieties grow on each side of the Garonne and Gironde rivers, called the Left and Right Banks, to the south and north, respectively.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes favor the Left Bank’s grave soil and a warmer climate, while Merlot vines prefer the cooler Right Bank’s clay and limestone soil.
Both grapes are planted worldwide, from Australia to Argentina and Washington to California, most notably in Napa Valley and Sonoma County.
Also read: SAUVIGNON BLANC VS. CHARDONNAY: COMPARING TWO CLASSIC WHITE WINES
Differences Between Cabernet And Merlot?
Cabernet Sauvignon And Merlot’s Origins
- Cabernet Sauvignon originates on Gironde’s left bank.
- Merlot came from the right bank of the same river.
- The two kinds of grapes grow in distinct environments. Cabernet Sauvignon thrives on well-drained gravelly soil.
- Merlot grows best on limestone and clay soils that are substantially colder in temperature than Cabernet Sauvignon.
Merlot and Cabernet have varied strengths when it comes to meal combinations.
- Merlot is a versatile wine that goes well with anything from roasted chicken to grilled fish. Its fruity flavors and gentle texture make it an excellent complement to lighter foods.
- Conversely, Cabernet is a more assertive wine that works well with heavy, rich foods such as steak, lamb, and stews. It’s rich flavors, and tannic structure can withstand intense flavors and spices.
Also read: 7 FOODS THAT COMPLIMENT RED WINE PERFECTLY
While Merlot and Cabernet are frequently appreciated independently, they are also frequently mixed to produce complex and delectable wines.
Indeed, many of the world’s most famous wines, such as Bordeaux blends, are derived from a Merlot and Cabernet mix.
These blends combine the delicate, fruity flavors of Merlot with the powerful, deep flavors of Cabernet to provide the best of both worlds.
Which One Should You Choose?
Both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot pair well with a wide range of dishes. Merlot is an excellent choice for a wine to combine with a lighter dinner or to enjoy on its own.
It’s accessible and easy-to-drink texture and fruity flavors make it simple to sip. Cabernet is excellent for pairing with a meaty, rich dinner or aging in your cellar. Its strong structure and rich flavors make it a wine to savor and appreciate over time.
Cabernet pairs well with rich dishes such as grilled steaks, burgers, and brats. These foods’ salty, fatty flavors bring out the fruity flavors in the wine. As a general guideline, choose a cuisine that won’t be dominated by the robust flavors of your favorite Cab.
When picking a wine, like everything else in wine tasting, your preferences are most important. And, with such a big and diverse selection of merlot and cabernet, you’re practically guaranteed to discover several bottles you enjoy of both sorts.
Is Merlot sweeter than Cabernet Sauvignon?
A: No, Merlot does not have a sweeter taste than Cabernet. Merlot is noted for its fruity flavors. However, it is not always sweeter than Cabernet. The residual sugar remaining after fermentation determines the sweetness of a wine, not the varietal.
Is Cabernet better for you than Merlot?
A: Although Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot include antioxidants and other health advantages, neither is inherently healthier. The health advantages of wine are derived from moderate consumption rather than the varietal.
Can Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon be blended?
A: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are frequently mixed to produce complex and tasty wines. Indeed, many of the world’s most famous wines, such as Bordeaux blends, are derived from a Merlot and Cabernet mix.
What is the greatest cuisine to mix with Merlot?
A: Merlot is a versatile wine that goes well with everything from roasted chicken to grilled fish. Its fruity flavors and gentle texture make it an excellent complement to lighter foods.
What is the greatest cuisine to mix with Cabernet?
A: Cabernet is a more powerful wine that goes well with heavy, rich foods like steak, lamb, and stews. Its rich flavors and tannic structure can withstand intense flavors and spices.