Cabernet and Merlot are two popular varieties of red wines, and you may get confused on which one to select while shopping for wine. Both of these Sauvignons came into existence during the 1600-1700’s, and the area of origin of both these wine varieties is Bordeaux, France. Besides that, both the wines are born from Cabernet Franc as the father variety.
Which is Bolder?
You can feel that Cabernet Sauvignon is bolder than Merlot Sauvignon, owing to the high tannin content in the former. However, you can also find bold varieties of Merlot wines out in the market and in online liquor stores.
If you love bolder wines and prefer bold Merlot, you should opt for the Merlot from hillside estates. The grapes from hillside vineyards are smaller and wines made from these grapes are intense and tannic.
Style and Flavor
The flavor of wines is greatly affected by the area where the grapes are grown. For example, Merlot wine from Bordeaux is savory, whereas that from California is not. Areas of production are usually differentiated into two, namely cool climate area and hot climate area.
Cool Climate Area
These areas are also known as ‘old world’, and produce wines that are much acidic in nature. These wines will also have subtle fruit flavors. Usually, these wines will have high presence of tannin and will have earthy flavors like tar and tobacco. This is the reason some of the cool climate Merlot are mistaken as Cabernet wines.
Hot Climate Area
These areas are also referred to as ‘new world’, and are known to produce wines with bolder fruit flavors. Wines from ‘new world’ tend to have more content of alcohol and are sweeter than the other varieties. Tannin is less prevalent in these wines, and they will have more dominant fruity flavors. Some of the winemakers also make use of oak aging to offer more structure to these wines.
These are some of the main differences between Cabernet and Merlot wines. These wines are so popular that you can get them from any online liquor store.