When it comes to the world of wine, you may have heard of Merlot, the celebrated red wine known for its smooth, velvety flavors. But have you ever ventured into the enchanting realm of White Merlot?
In this journey, we’ll uncork the mysteries of White Merlot, exploring how it’s made, how it compares to its red counterpart, and what dishes pair perfectly with this hidden gem.
What is White Merlot?
White Merlot is an easy-drinking, blush wine made with the classic red Merlot grape. If you’re craving something bright and sweet, it’s the perfection sip for you!
How is White Merlot Made?
The process of crafting White Merlot is an artful transformation that begins with the same grape variety as red Merlot. Here’s what happens:
Grapes are carefully separated from the juice being extracted early in the winemaking process, preventing the red pigment from being extracted.
During fermentation, the juice is then transferred to stainless steel tanks, which preserve the fruit’s natural flavors and gives the wine its crisp, clean profile.
After fermentation, the wine may spend some time aging in oak barrels for added complexity, but not as long as its red counterpart. This short oak aging imparts a touch of oakiness without overshadowing the wine’s delicate character.
White Merlot vs Merlot
Traditional Merlot spends 14-21 days with the juice in contact with the skin. White Merlot, on the other hand, only spends a few hours. This imparts less color and tannins. Here’s how the wines compare:
Color: White Merlot is pale pink in color and typically considered a “blush” wine, while red Merlot is, well, red!
Flavor: White Merlot is characterized by its bright and crisp flavors, often featuring notes of citrus, melon, and tropical fruits. In contrast, red Merlot showcases dark fruit flavors like plums, cherries, and often has a richer, fuller taste.
Tannins: The white version of this wine has minimal tannins, making it smoother and lighter on the palate. Red Merlot, on the other hand, can have more pronounced tannins, which give it a dry, structured feel.
White Merlot vs White Zinfandel
White Merlot and White Zinfandel are sometimes mentioned in the same breath due to their shared pinkish hue. Let’s distinguish between these two delightful options:
Grapes: Perhaps obvious, it’s still worth stating. Merlot is made from Merlot grapes, while White Zinfandel comes from the Zinfandel grape variety.
Flavor: The former leans towards citrus and tropical fruit flavors, while the later often boasts notes of strawberries and red berries.
Sweetness: White Zinfandel tends to be sweeter, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a touch of sweetness in their wine.
Best White Merlot Wines to Try
Beringer White Merlot
Beringer is a well-known producer with a rich heritage in winemaking. This wine offers a delightful fusion of fresh, fruity flavors with a touch of sweetness, making it a popular choice for those seeking a harmonious balance in their wine.
Sutter Home White Merlot
A popular grocery store find, Sutter Home White Merlot is a delightful and approachable wine known for its sweet and fruity character. It offers a pleasant combination of red berry and citrus notes, making it a crowd-pleasing choice for those who enjoy a sweeter wine.
Gallo White Merlot
Crafted by E. & J. Gallo Winery, this is a vibrant and fruit-forward wine with a pleasing sweetness. It showcases flavors of ripe berries and tropical fruits, creating a well-balanced and enjoyable wine for those who appreciate a touch of sweetness in their glass.
Forest Glen White Merlot
Forest Glen is a delightful wine that balances sweet, fruity notes with a refreshing character. It’s known for its flavors of strawberries and melons, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a lighter, sweeter wine.
Alice White Merlot
This is a charming and affordable wine known for its approachable sweetness and fruit-forward character. It offers flavors of red berries and a hint of citrus, making it a friendly choice for those looking for an easy-drinking, sweet white wine.
White Merlot is a captivating twist on the classic red Merlot, offering a lighter, fruitier experience that’s perfect for warm evenings and a wide range of culinary delights.
So, the next time you’re seeking a refreshing wine with a touch of elegance, consider exploring this unique wine. It’s a delightful revelation that adds a touch of sophistication to your wine adventures. Cheers!
Is White Merlot sweet?
White Merlot typically falls into the semi-dry to off-dry category, with a slight hint of sweetness, but it is not overwhelmingly sweet. Its flavor profile often features bright, fruity notes while maintaining a balanced, refreshing character.
Do you chill White Merlot?
Yes, white and rose wines are best served chilled. It enhances the crisp and refreshing qualities of the wine, making it a delightful choice for a cool, refreshing experience.
Check out our guide on how to chill wine fast.