Malbec Vs Merlot – What’s The Difference?
It’s no secret that Malbec and Merlot are two of the most popular red wines around. But what’s the difference between them? How do you know which one to choose for your next dinner party? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at both Malbec and Merlot and help you decide which wine is right for you.
Malbec, a full-bodied red wine that is rich and full-bodied, is most well-known for its popularity in France’s Bordeaux region. It is one of six wine types that is permitted in Bordeaux Blend’s world-famous red variety.
Although the grape is French, its origins are not clear. There are many fairytales and rumours that boggle the mind about the grape’s history. Most likely, the grape came from Burgundy’s North side under a different name. However, a charming tale about a Hungarian Peasant spreading the grape through France with the name Malbec is a popular favorite.
Malbec’s popularity has grown over time and is now available in many countries. Most notable is the rapidly growing popularity of Malbec in New World wine regions, especially in Argentina. It is likely due to Malbec’s properties and the way the grape ripens.
Because of its thin skin, the grape needs more sunlight and warmth than other grapes like Merlot to fully mature. It is therefore more suitable for warmer climates like Argentina than for Europe’s comparatively colder lands.
Malbec wine has a deep color and flavor. It also has a high level of tannin. It is medium to low in acidity and relatively dry. It has a wonderful fruity flavor, with plums and blackberries coming from warmer climates, and raspberries, cherries, and cherries from cooler ones.
It is important to remember that a Malbec has tannins and a full-bodied finish. This makes it a great pairing for lean red meats. Non-fatty cuts of meat like sirloin steak and exotic meats such as llama are good options. This goes well with blue cheese, which is notoriously difficult to pair.
Second only to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is the most widely grown grape on the planet. Merlot lost its crown to Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, but the grape’s popularity continues. Merlot is still the most widely planted grape in Bordeaux, France, despite Cabernet being more popular. Merlot remains a family favorite and a household name in the wine world, no matter where you are.
The Bordeaux region of South West France was the first to cultivate the grape. Merlot continues to be a popular varietal wine and blended wine, with the most famous being the Bordeaux blend.
Merlot’s true popularity is revealed as we cross the French border. It was once the most loved wine in America. This is often attributed to an episode of 60 minutes that discussed the “French Paradox”, the belief that red wine has health benefits that outweigh the relatively unhealthy lifestyle of the French.
There are two ways Merlot can be produced. You can tell which method your Merlot was produced by simply looking at its source. The ‘International Method of Production’ will be used for New World Wines. A New World Wine is a wine produced in countries that have been producing wine less than 400 years. This includes places like Argentina, Chile and the United States.
International Method of Production uses a later harvest. The wine will have a darker taste due to the longer maturation. These berries will include black cherries, plums, blackberries and other berries. Also, the wine will have more complex tannins and be generally sweeter.
Contrary to this, Old World wine producers, such as countries in Europe, the Middle East and parts of North Africa that have been producing wine for more than 400 years, will use what is known as the Bordeaux Style of production.
Bordeaux style is a production style that harvests grapes earlier than the International style. This has dramatic effects on the wine. You will notice a marked change in the aromas. What was once dark berries turns into red berries. What was once plum will become strawberries and raspberries. What was once black cherry becomes red cherry and so forth.
It will also contain significantly less tannins than International Style wines, and will be more acidic with less natural sweetness. This will affect the way you pair the wine and the style preference that the drinker may have. Bordeaux wines are great with tomato-based dishes, as well as many kinds of cheeses. This makes them a perfect companion for Italian cuisine.
An International Style of Merlot, in comparison to the previous, will be more flavorful and can be paired with beef dishes. You can pair it with burgers or medium-fatted steaks. A great pairing is also possible for roasted red meats. The wine will be richer and more complex due to the roasting. Merlot’s fruity character will bring out the best in the meat.
Differences between Malbec and Merlot:
Malbec and Merlot are both red grape varieties and are often used in winemaking. Both have smoky and cherry flavors. While both are great for everyday meals, Merlot is more often used for special occasions, such as a formal dinner. A blend of the two grapes makes a fantastic wine for everyday use. Pure Merlot is best for dinner parties.
The two grapes are similar in taste, with notes of plum, cherry, vanilla, tobacco, and bay leaf. Both wines are medium to full-bodied. They also share similar fruit notes, including blackberry, black plum, and cocoa. However, Merlot tends to be a bit tannic than Malbec, while Malbec has a fruitier, more floral taste.
Although both varieties of red wine have many similarities, they also differ from each other. While both grapes come from the Bordeaux region of France, their main differences are in the region where they are grown and the type of wine they produce. For instance, while Merlot is grown primarily in California, Malbec is mainly grown in Argentina.
Both grapes have fruity flavors, and the characteristics of each type will depend on where they are grown. For example, a Malbec grown in Cahors is likely to be rich in fruit with medium acidity. Alternatively, a Malbec grown at high altitude is more likely to be leaner and floral.
Merlot is the world’s most popular grape variety. France, in fact, has dedicated approximately two-thirds of its vineyards to growing the grape. It is used in Bordeaux blends and for solo drinking. However, both grapes are used in many regions, including California. Merlot and Malbec are also used in blends. If you’re looking for a unique blend, make sure to choose one of these two grapes.
Pairings with lean red meat
Although both are dry red wines, the differences between them are most noticeable in the acidity level and tannins. Merlot is a fruitier variety, while Malbec is considered a ‘rustic’ counterpart to Merlot. The two have slightly different flavors, and the right wine for a particular dish will depend on the pairing, occasion, and palate.
The French Malbec is particularly well-matched with lean cuts of beef. It tenderizes flank steak and complements savory flavors from mushrooms and red onions. It also goes well with roasted red meat. This fruity style will also complement the flavor of aged cheeses.
For a simple dinner with red wine, go for a light or medium-bodied red. These wines have higher acidity and will cut through the meat’s texture. As a general rule, light-bodied wines are best for pairing with lean red meat. Medium-bodied wines are best for meats that are not very spicy.
The Malbec is a popular wine in Argentina, and it was specifically made to go well with lean red meat. It has smoother tannins than Cabernet, but retains its bold flavor and acidity. It goes well with lamb and some cuts of steak. However, it’s important to remember that a bold Malbec can overpower a dish with delicate flavors.
Both the Merlot and Malbec have multiple advantages and disadvantages. Merlot is popular in Old World vineyards, while Malbec is preferred in New World regions. It’s more dependable than Merlot, but can be a bit more terroir-dependent.
The antioxidant content in Malbec grapes is among the highest in all wines. This is because they are grown in areas with ideal temperature and moisture patterns. The result is a deep, velvety red wine that is full of flavor and antioxidants. This wine is great for people who are new to red wine or want to switch it up. It also pairs well with dishes that feature meat or chicken.
In one study, 73 red wines were tasted and compared for their antioxidant activities. The phenolic content of the wine was measured using ORAC and DPPH assays. Seven professional tasters also scored the wines. This analysis allowed the authors to identify which wines displayed the greatest correlation of sensory quality with antioxidant activity.
One study compared the antioxidant activity of Malbec and Merlot. It found that both wines contained significant levels of polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. The researchers found that Malbec had the highest antioxidant content, followed by Merlot. However, it was not as effective when it came to reducing the harmful effects of free radicals.
The antioxidant content of Merlot is higher than that of Cabernet Sauvignon. Despite their differences in antioxidant content, their prices are not related to their antioxidant activity. Merlot is a more affordable wine than Cabernet Sauvignon. This means that you can find many excellent bottles of Merlot for less money.
There are many ways to compare the antioxidant content of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. In one study, researchers evaluated the antioxidant content of the two red wines using three different methods. The wines that were the most potent in polyphenol content had the highest antioxidant capacity. The other two wines had the least antioxidant content.
Another way to measure antioxidant activity is by using the DPPH* method. DPPH* is a yellow compound produced by a reaction of antioxidants and free radicals. The degree of discoloration indicates how much antioxidant activity a wine has. These results are displayed in Figure 1(a), where the antioxidant activities of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines were compared.
1) What are the flavor profiles of Malbec and Merlot?
– Malbec is known for its bold, dark fruit flavors and a hint of spice.
– Merlot tends to have softer, more approachable flavors with notes of plum and cherry.
2) How do their origins affect their taste?
– Malbec originated in the Cahors region of France, but has found its true home in Argentina where it thrives in the hot climate and produces a full-bodied wine.
– Merlot originated in Bordeaux, France and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to create the popular “Bordeaux
Blend.” In cooler climates, it can have earthy flavors, but in warmer climates it becomes more fruit-forward.
3) What food pairs well with each wine?
– Malbec’s bold flavors make it a great pairing for red meat dishes or spicy cuisine.
– Merlot’s softer profile lends itself well to lighter
4) What is the price range for these wines?
– Malbec typically has a lower price point and can be found in the $10-20 range.
– Merlot tends to have a higher price point, with bottles often costing upwards of $30 or more.
5) Overall, which wine would you recommend?
– It truly depends on personal preference and the food you’re serving. Both Malbec and Merlot offer delicious options for any occasion, so it’s worth experimenting with both to find your favorite. Cheers!
Merlot and Malbec wines are both very popular, but there are some clear differences between the two. Merlot is typically smoother and more approachable, while Malbec is a bit bolder and can stand up to heartier meals. When pairing lean red meat with either of these wines, it’s important to take into account the different properties of each type.
Malbec, with its bolder flavors, can handle spicier dishes or sauces, while Merlot pairs better with simpler preparations. Both types of wine offer antioxidants and other health benefits, so whichever you prefer, you’re sure to enjoy!
Jilly Goolden is a renowned wine and food writer, as well as a palmist. She has written books on both subjects that have appeared in the Sunday Times best-seller list. Jilly has also co-written several volumes, including Food and Drink, Entertaining with Food and Drink, and The Big Food and Drink Book.