Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon Comparison [2021]

Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon

Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon are just two amazingly popular and well-established red wine varietals. Even though most men and women like to drink those wines, they do not understand what makes them different. We’re here to help you realize the fundamental features which make these wines so distinguishable and adored.

Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon Wine

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are equally red wines originating in France in the 15th century and are widespread across the world, but that is roughly where their similarities end.

In the dirt used to grow the grapes, to the creation, flavor, and food pairings, these wines are incredibly different.

History Of Cabernet Sauvignon

History Of Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon shares a lot of the same background as Merlot. Since they are siblings, they share the very same roots in Cabernet Franc. The earliest recorded mention of every has been in the twentieth century, but Cabernet Sauvignon climbed in popularity considerably sooner than Merlot. It had been known previously as a premier, classy wine that anybody wanted to drink.

The title Sauvignon comes from the French word Sauvage, so wild. It pertains to this wild Vitis vinifera that’s indigenous to France. For quite a long time, folks were unsure where Cabernet Sauvignon came from or exactly what it was.

For example, men and women in the twentieth century believed the grape had historical roots in the Biturica grape the Romans used to make wine. At this moment, the avocado was also called Petite Vidure. Some folks called it Bidure, which is a mashup of those titles Biturica and Vidure. However, others thought that the grape came out of Spain.

It was only in 1996 when DNA studying found the true origins of Cabernet Sauvignon. A group at UC Davis found that Cabernet Sauvignon was the consequence of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, across that occurred by chance from the seventeenth century, even until the wine’s rise to fame.

Read also: Best Cabernet Sauvignon Brands Reviews 2021

History of Merlot

History of Merlot

Merlot was initially mentioned in France in the eighteenth century. In 1784, a Bordeaux official asserted that Merlot was among the best wines at the moment. Given the high profile of the individual, Merlot gained popularity then, and many winemakers began planting grapes known as ‘young blackbird’ or ‘small blackbird.’ Whether the title stems from the birds that prefer to eat the grapes from the vine or the dark shade of their skin, we do not understand.

Merlot was believed to be an excellent mixing grape but was not a standalone varietal initially. It had been competing with Bordeaux from the Bordeaux area – among the most highly prestigious wines on the planet.

The prevalence and plantings climbed into the Medoc area until 1956 when illness and other unfortunate events nearly ruined all the Merlot vines in France. Following a deep freeze, many and Merlot vines obtained ruining. Vintners tried to replant the vines, but that caused rust that destroyed almost all of them.

The 1960s classic of Merlot was nearly wholly missing, but French winemakers persevered and tried again, just for the French authorities to prohibit new Merlot plantings in 1970. They believed they could protect against corrosion from spreading to additional plantings by exposing the grapes, which were so inclined to rust year in, year out.

The ban has been lifted in 1975 due to the rising popularity of this wine globally and the requirement for longer. Merlot continued to increase in popularity well into the 1980s, and plantings in the USA boomed. From the 1990s, wine snobs appeared to turn their backs on Merlot predicated on vine decline, or maybe about the instability of their plantings, but it is still among the best-selling wines on earth.

Regrettably, Merlot grapes are just a couple of decades old rather than a couple of centuries. The background is brief, but there is lots of space for expansion, and discoveries concerning the Merlot grape continue to be discovered. By way of instance, researchers in California lately found that Merlot is a descendant of Cabernet Franc.

Read also: Best Merlot Wine 2021: Top Choice & Guide

Typical Characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon vs Merlot Wine

Typical Characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon vs Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon 

Cabernet Sauvignon can also be Known as Cabernet or Cab. This red grape varietal makes a deep red wine color. It is famous for its very powerful tannins (that drying feeling and sour flavor). It is a dry wine with high acidity (refreshing, sour taste) and full-body (thick feeling that coats the mouth).

Cabernet is famous for dark fruit flavors like blackberry, black cherry, and black currant and green pepper tastes. All this means it’s a deep, rich, full-flavor and bite and dryness.


Merlot is a red grape varietal that makes a slightly lighter red wine shade than Cab. Its tannins are a lot milder than that of Cab while using a solid fruit flavor.

Merlot has moderate tannins, moderate acidity, dryness, and moderate – to full-body. Based upon the climate in which Merlot grapes are grown, you will receive slightly different fruit notes. The cool climate Merlot shows red fruit notes like strawberry and cherry, whereas hot weather has black fruit notes of blackberry and cherry blossom.

For Merlot, this usually means that the wine has that deep, rich, full-flavor, but with a milder silkiness for it.

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Similarities

The two Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon derive from precisely the same parent grape – the Cabernet franc. Sharing a branch onto the household vine means Both of these varietals keep a Couple of similarities, particularly when it comes to their color, dryness, and strength amounts:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon vs merlot have deep, dark, ruby-colored bodies.
  • Cabernet sauvignon vs. Merlot grip opaque centers and lighter rims.
  • Both Cabernet Sauvignon and merlot are mild to intensely powerful, carrying bright taste profiles and enticing, unique sensations on the tongue.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon vs merlot require oak-barrel treatments nicely.
  • All these are dry red wines – really, they are regarded as two of the most popular commercial red wine kinds on earth.

Read also: Best Rose Wine: Top Brands Reviews 2021

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Differences

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Differences

Like some other priest, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon keep Substantial differences:

  • Merlot is a basically fruit-forward wine.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is a savoury, earthy-driven wine, especially when grown in warmer climates.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon’s body is fuller, thicker, and stronger, lingering for more on the tongue compared to Merlot’s medium-body, faster end.
  • Merlot is not as tannin-pronounced, without as powerful of a drying or prickling feeling in the moutharea.
  • Though near, a Merlot’s body ought to be a somewhat lighter ruby crimson than Cabernet Sauvignon’s rich burgundy, particularly in case the Merlot has obsolete.
  • Merlot Cabinets are orange, whereas Cabernet sauvignons are all gradient colors of crimson.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon will probably be translucent around glass rims and advantages than Merlot.

When to Select a Merlot

Elect for a glowing bottle of Merlot next time your buddies are at the following scenarios:

You are new to drinking red wines.

  • You prefer fruity, hot, or lighter red wines.
  • You are a lover of semicolons, Californian pinot noirs, and dry chenin blancs.
  • You are looking for a jar of wine to match various cuisines or foods, like during a potluck.
  • You are drinking out on a hot day.
  • You are seeking to be more budget-conscious, as more melons develop stateside and so have a tendency to be cheaper.

When to Select a Cabernet Sauvignon

Go for a tasty bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in case your celebration:

  • Do not like sweet wines, white or red.
  • Crave a glass of wine to enjoy by itself.
  • Are lovers of sterile Oregon chardonnays, Australian Shiraz, or even tempranillo.
  • Appreciate high-tannin, thicker wines with lengthier finishes.
  • Are drinking inside on a trendy or winter day?
  • Want to experiment with greater elderly or simpler wines.

Food Pairings – Cabernet Sauvignon vs Merlot

If it comes to food pairings to both Cabernet Sauvignon and merlot, they complement different kinds of meals.

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself to red meat and much more hearty dishes such as beef, hamburgers, or lamb. Whereas Merlot is a versatile wine and also comes in various styles.

If you discover that a fruitier Merlot that will be better suited to lighter meats such as pork, poultry, and pasta dishes… even pizza. Whereas more full-bodied Merlot’s would match in precisely the exact same kingdom as Cabernet Sauvignon and be good with red meat.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon FAQs

How long does this last for a bottle of wine after opening?

Having a youthful bottle of red wine, you can anticipate a lifetime of 1 week after launching. Sparkling wines possess a briefer length of conservation only 24 hours after launching. The tannin in the wine, the longer it will survive.

What’s the pH of these wines?

The PH level fluctuates based on the kind of wine. For white wines, the PH goes from 3.0 to 3.3, and also for red wines from 3.3 to 3.6.

Would you cook Cabernet Sauvignon?

There are loads of recipes that have wine, but maybe not each wine value as a component. A number of the most utilized wines to cook are Cabernet, Shiraz, and Merlot.

Why cook with wine in the first place?

Wine imparts a lot of richness and flavor to tomato sauce, pasta dishes, and pan sauces, but its acidity is ideal for tenderizing beef. Comparable to other acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, juice, and yogurt, wine breaks down the connective tissues in meat (aka muscle and collagen) and assists it in retaining its juices.

What sort of foods do you eat white wines? Are they the same sort of food that you take with red wine?

White wine ought to be served chilled & swallowed chilled but not too cold. The game of wine with meals is much more of an art than a science. But, with all of the culinary jobs, we seek stability or contrast. Harmony is an equilibrium of taste intensities involving the food & wine.

Delicately flavored dishes must be paired with comparable wine. Heavy, strong-flavored foods desire a solid flavored wine to suit them. The very same principles apply to red wine, much like wine. To do it well takes some expertise.


The response to this question is… you only have to test both Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon and decide for yourself.

Everything you like at a wine might not be exactly the very same things that somebody else enjoys in a wine. Some people today like the ironic taste related to higher tannin levels in certain wines, whereas some other individuals don’t. Many people today love really sweet wines, which other men and women find to be somewhat overwhelming, taking away from everything they love about wine.

So the actual way to determine what kinds of wines you enjoy is to sit down and try a lot of different types, then after you cut it down to types you enjoy, then you can experiment with different wine manufacturers and how those differ from one another.

Video: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Syrah – Red Wine Guide

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