Should Merlot Be Chilled? Learn How to Store it Like a Pro

how to serve merlot wine

Is Merlot better served chilled or at room temperature?

Merlot, a velvety and versatile red wine, has long been praised for its complex flavors and silky textures. The proper temperature for serving this popular kind of red wine, however, is often not clear.

Should Merlot Be Chilled?

Yes, Merlot is best enjoyed when served slightly refrigerated at a temperature of between 60°F and 65°F (15°C and 18°C). This temperature range enables the wine to exhibit its natural qualities, such as its prominent fruit flavors, mellow tannins, and well-integrated flavors.

best way to chill merlot wine

It is important to keep in mind that serving Merlot wine at room temperature, particularly in warmer climates, might result in the wine getting too warm, which can also affect its taste.

The more delicate nuances that make Merlot so delightful can be overshadowed by excessive heat as the alcohol in the wine dominates the flavors and aromas.

How to Store Merlot?

To ensure the longevity and quality of your Merlot, it is important to follow proper storage methods. Here are some essential principles to keep in mind when considering how to store Merlot:

dusty bottles of Merlot
  • Store it in a Cool and Dark Place

Merlot needs to be kept at a constant temperature, preferably between 55°F and 60°F (13°C and 15°C). Temperature variations can hasten the aging process and reduce the wine’s quality.

Direct sunshine or intense artificial light can affect wine by inducing premature oxidation. Therefore, it is best to store Merlot in a dark area or in tinted cabinets or wine cellars.

  • Maintain a Horizontal Position and Limit Vibrations

Wine bottles should be stored horizontally to protect the cork from drying out and to keep it moist. A dry cork might result in undesired air exposure and potential deterioration.

Reduce exposure to strong vibrations as much as possible because they can upset the wine’s sediment and prevent it from aging properly. Merlot shouldn’t be kept close to vibrating appliances like refrigerators or washing machines.

  • Avoid Strong Odors

Like other wines, Merlot can pick up smells from its environment. To retain the wine’s aromatic integrity, keep it away from strong-smelling substances.

This precaution ensures that the unique and delicate bouquet of the Merlot remains uncompromised, allowing enthusiasts to fully savor its distinct aromas with each pour.

horizontal bottles

Related: Should Chianti be Chilled? How to Store it Properly?

How Long Does Merlot Last Once Opened?

If you’re a devoted wine enthusiast, you might be wondering how long you can enjoy a bottle of Merlot after it has been opened. Merlot, like other red wines, is susceptible to oxygen exposure.

As soon as the cork is removed from the bottle, the oxidation process starts, which gradually changes the flavors and scents of the wine. 

Therefore, it is best to drink your Merlot within five to seven days of opening to ensure maximum freshness and quality. This length of time can change, though, depending on variables such as the wine’s initial quality and storage circumstances. After opening your Merlot, it’s crucial to store it properly to maintain its longevity. 

opened wines

But Wait, What Is Merlot?

Merlot wine is a type of dry wine that is produced from the Merlot grape variety. Merlot grapes are normally harvested when they are fully mature, producing wines with medium to deep red hues.

The wine is frequently distinguished by its smooth texture, mild tannins, and a variety of fruit flavors. Black cherry, plum, blackberry, raspberry, and occasionally undertones of chocolate, herbs, or spice are among the common flavors and aromas found in Merlot wines.

Merlot is produced in many wine regions around the world, with prominent examples coming from Bordeaux, France, where the Merlot grapes are frequently blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and other grape varieties.

Outside of Bordeaux, Merlot grapes are grown and produced in many other places, including California, Italy, Chile, Australia, etc. 

Conclusion

While the idea to serve Merlot chilled may sound appealing, it is not the best way to truly appreciate this outstanding red wine. You may bring out Merlot’s full potential and enjoy the diverse array of aromas it has to offer by serving it between the suggested temperature range of 60°F and 65°F (15°C and 18°C).

For truly bringing out that signature Merlot taste, it is ideal to chill Merlot wine in a wine cooler.

Keep in mind that suitable storage techniques are necessary to preserve the distinct characteristics of Merlot for a longer time.

So, when you are about to serve Merlot wine in the future, make sure to embrace the art of temperature regulation and savor its splendor. Cheers!

Stan Kushkin

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