Merlot is not traditionally considered a "noble grape" like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or Syrah. The term "noble grape" is typically reserved for the grape varieties that are widely recognized for producing high-quality wines and have a long history of being used in winemaking.

However, Merlot is still a widely planted and highly respected grape variety, particularly in Bordeaux, where it is often blended with other grapes to create some of the world's most famous wines. Merlot is known for its smooth texture, fruity flavors, and versatility in blending, which makes it an essential component of many Bordeaux-style blends.

Merlot is often considered to be underrated because of several factors, including:


  1. Sideways Effect: In the 2004 movie "Sideways," the protagonist, a wine snob, famously declared his disdain for Merlot, which caused a significant drop in demand for the varietal. This had a lasting impact on the perception of Merlot and its popularity.

  2. Blending Grape: Merlot is often used as a blending grape in Bordeaux-style wines, which can sometimes lead to a misconception that it is not good enough to stand on its own. However, Merlot can produce excellent single-varietal wines, particularly when grown in certain regions and with particular winemaking techniques.

  3. Quality Variability: The quality of Merlot wines can vary significantly depending on the vineyard, climate, soil, and winemaking techniques used. This can make it difficult for consumers to know what to expect from a Merlot wine.

  4. Consumer Preferences: Finally, consumer preferences can also play a role in the perception of Merlot. Some wine drinkers may simply prefer other varietals or styles of wine, and this can impact the demand for Merlot. The En Vogue Red Grape varietal on sale in kenya could arguably be Malbec - this fruit forward varietal comes in many varieties and is dark fruit dominated (similar to merlot). 

  5. One of the most famous and sought after wines in the world - Petrus - is made entirely from Merlot and one of the most expensive wines out of St Emilion, Bordeaux right bank, France.

There are many styles of merlot available on the market and for those starting to drink wines who like good dark fruit forward flavours, with medium tannins and an easy drinking wine to match lean meats and stews, you could try Finca la Escondida Merlot from which will fit the bill !

Overall, while Merlot may be underrated by some, it is still a highly versatile and enjoyable wine that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a blend. Its popularity may ebb and flow over time, but it remains an important and beloved varietal for many wine enthusiasts.