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Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon’s perfect match! A somewhat unappreciated superstar black grape, Merlot is excellent as a blending partner, as well as a stand-alone varietal. Offering luscious, often plum, smokey or chocolatey flavors, and a full body, Merlot can achieve great richness. This luxuriousness is what allows Merlot and Cabernet to blend so well. You can often find Merlot in a Bordeaux blend, but with the right hands, it can be shaped into a really exciting varietal.

Red Blends Wines

One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.

Sangiovese

Sangiovese is Italy’s most planted grape varietal and can taste quite different throughout, depending on the region it is grown in. It is the key grape variety of Tuscany’s distinguished Chianti and Montalcino regions. Sangiovese is generally higher in acidity with hints of local earth and herbs including roasted tomato, balsamic and oregano making this wine a great match for you guessed it: tomato sauce. It is sure to stand up beautifully with your home-cooked Italian meal.  AKA “Prugnolo Gentile” in the Montepulciano region within Italy.

Syrah

Of the noble grape varieties, Syrah may have the oldest geography and history. The vines origins are thought to date back to one of the world’s earliest wine-producing regions, the city of Shiraz in the Middle East. Now worshipped in the Rhône Valley in France, these dark, dense, and powerful wines can be just as distinct as Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll find this grape also largely grown in Australia, where it is identifiable as Shiraz.

Sometimes known to be “meaty,” think exotic spices and darker meat dishes to help showcase the complexity of these wines. Syrah needs time to show its greatness, but when it does, you’ll be thankful you had a bottle!

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