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SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
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what is the difference between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Customer Question

what is the difference between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Please answer, giving as much detail as is potentially possible and i will give you one dollar tip if it is EXTREMELY GOOD. Are these wines named after people.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Mr. Gregory White replied 5 years ago.

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am happy to help with this question....


These are two types of red wine and they get their names from the types of grapes that are used to make the wines. Yes, there are actually Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties.


These names are XXXXX XXXXX used in the U.S. where wines are named after the grape varities. In Europe, they usually name their wines by the regions that produce them as opposed to just the grape variety.


The Cabernet Sauvignon grape produces a wine with a currant, plum, and black cheery flavor mix. This occurs whether the Cabernet Sauvignon grape is grown in California or in Europe.


In contrast, the Merlot grape is sweeter. It is easier to mix with other grapes and does not take as long to age as the Cabernet Sauvignon.


Hopefully this helps. If you need more information, just hit reply.


If satisfied with the answer, please be sure to hit ACCEPT and feel free to request me anytime.

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Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 5 years ago.
Wines are named for the type of grape and the region they were grown in. In old wine making times the wines were named from the vineyard they were produced from which is not practiced so much any more. You will still see this sometimes, but it is easier for the general public to understand Grape-Region as an identifier than to try to figure out vineyard location.

The merlot wine is an extremely popular, versatile, medium bodied wine, dark red in color and it tends to share flavors of plum and currant, possibly some hint of types of berry and black cherry flavors possibly a slight mineral flavor. It tastes "softer" on the palette, but had a reasonable tannin flavor to it. Because most merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes are so popular and produced is large large amounts, they are often used to create blends of wine. This is used to tone a wine's particular characteristics down but can also be used to accentuate a trait or create a level of complexity to a wine, in most cases Merlot lends itself to create a "softer" flavor in a wine.

Cabernet sauvignon which gets its name from from the grape itself is a wine produced all over the word. Originally created from accidental fertilization of 2 grapes, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in the 17th century. The flavors of the wine can be relatively variable, hearty and rich which many are accustomed to, but it can also be toned into a more mild flavor wine. The flavors most noted by developed tasters are that of currant. This wine has stronger tannin flavors, which again is toneable, but partially due to its thicker skin.

Common pairing with cabernet sauvignon is cheddar and stronger cheese, along with beef dishes, merlot is paired a lot with chicken and pasta dishes, reflective of the body and flavor as to compliment the food, not allow it to be overwhelmed by the wine or vice versa.

In "non-wine-person" terms the Merlot wine should be easier to drink as it is a softer flavor, less tannins, where the Cabernet would need a "buffer" of a correct pairing with food simply because of the flavor and tannin content as its flavors on an undeveloped palette might be slightly bitter or overwhelming.
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 508
Experience: Senior Information Specialist
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