Know your wine grapes

From Cabernet Sauvignon to Gewürztraminer, wine grapes around the world feature complex flavors and aromas.

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The flexible, fruity Merlot

Considered the "gateway wine" for those just getting into the scene, the Merlot grape is a popular variety due its broad appeal across all palates.

Much like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot's origins can be traced back to the 17th century in the Bordeaux region of France. Depending on climate and soil, its flavor can vary from hints of chocolate to plum, berries and even tobacco. It is estimated that Merlot grapes cover some 640,000 acres globally.

In terms of food pairings, Merlot's strength is in its flexibility – as delicious with roasted chicken as it is with stuffed artichokes.

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