Malbec vs Merlot

by Dave Jackson
Malbec vs Merlot

Malbec vs MerlotOh my goodness. Hope my Mom doesn’t read this. Today I want to discuss with you the differences between Malbec vs Merlot. These are two wines that originate from France and like everything else nowadays have been replicated throughout the world in a big way. Especially Malbec of late – it has been planted within the last century to a point where it has become less French and more Argentinian than other French wines.

Why not tell Mom? She knows I drink wine – but I was raised a conservative Christian boy where wine in the Bible meant grape juice; not wine. Hehe

Okay so you want me to dissect the two and I’m not going to do it. But I will tell you what I think and what vintage you should be buying right now. Merlot is a grape that has been planted almost everywhere it can grow and the vintages out of France and California are the best in my opinion. Buy them if you like the taste of Merlot. Don’t buy any other country – it won’t come close. Merlot is a little shallower than Malbec and a little more fruity. Depending on the vintage, and origin, you will have a wine that is gentle and nice to serve with certain foods.

On the other hand, Malbec is smooth but deep. The flavors are strong but so mellow. Wow, how can grapes taste so good? Okay – disclosure – I love Malbec vs Merlot. I’m a Malbec fan and especially love the Argentinian Malbecs.  They did a wonderful job with those – and don’t buy anything else from Argentina.

Malbec Food Pairings

This is really easy. So here’s what you pair with Malbec: anything that has a strong flavor to it. Like – beef, strong cheese. And white wines, like Chardonnay, you would pair with chicken. So – get it? The darker the wine – pair with strong meats and foods. Well, meat is a food, but you get my example. And lighter wines, like white (which is really clear), you pair with chicken, pork, etc.

And that’s your wine lesson for the day. Take it and run!!

Added notes:

Best vintages for both wines: 2009 – YES! Buy 2009 and you can’t go wrong!


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Jean David March 28, 2012 - 2:09 pm

Merlot will always be Merlot as a Cab , Malbec is an easy drinking wine that any body could enjoyed as is so simple in taste

Zack Sheldon August 4, 2016 - 10:39 am

There are some amazing merlots coming out of New York, Spain and Italy, not to mention Australia and Washington state!!


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