This weekend, when you go to reach for your favourite bottle of Pinot Noir or Rosé, stop and think to yourself... is it time to reach for that dusty bottle of Merlot instead? Because the answer is yes, yes it is.
It's no secret that lighter ~easy~ reds such as Pinot Noir and Rosé have had their fair share of fun in the sun but according to award-winning winemaker Neil Doddridge, it's now Merlot's time to shine.
Traditionally used for red wine blending, Merlot is now becoming more and more popular as a single variety wine and its soft, fruity tones make it *the* go-to red for when the cooler months begin to settle in.
Doddridge, who makes the Black Wattle wine range, says that over his 40-year-long career in winemaking, Merlot has easily become his favourite.
"It is a variety that has been overlooked, but it's a lovely, mouth-filling red wine that is great to enjoy with food or on its own. I personally think it's going to be the next big thing in red wine."
The Merlot grape variety has a slow and even ripening process throughout late spring and summer, which allows for such refined, elegant characters, and soft, grainy tannins in the wine they produce, and Doddridge is certain Australians will love its flavours.
"I think wine drinkers will fall in love with Merlot for its soft, full, juicy fruit characters. You will find beautiful flavours of dark plum, blueberry, mocha and maybe a hint of red cedar," he said. "It can be a fairly big wine at times but is more refined from our region, it has a mouth-filling tannin structure, but appears quite soft as the tannins are fine."
Are you ready to ditch the Pinot Noir and delve into the world of Merlot? Let us know in the Facebook comments!