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White Merlot – Looking Back on a Trend

You know what they say… wait a while and it’ll come back in style. Ain’t that the truth. Just looking around the Syracuse University campus I can see a similar view to when I was a college freshman years ago – plaid, flannel shirts, untucked over jeans with holes in the knees. It’s too bad I didn’t save all my wardrobe pieces because I’d be back in style!

As I thought about this, it reminded me that wine tasting “styles” come and go, too. When I was in college, I drank a ton of rose and sweeter wines. Just after college, as I “graduated” to bolder reds and drier whites, I passed through my White Merlot phase.

White Merlot is made from Merlot grapes that have limited to no contact with the skins before fermentation. So the color of the wine changes from a red/purple to a rose/light red. It tastes a lot like a White Zinfandel, which uses a similar process. I first learned about White Merlot on a Long Island wine tour in the late 1990s as it was first coming into fashion. A winery on the North Fork was producing it and after trying it, I was hooked! It became my “go to” sipping wine for quite a while.

One of the easiest to find White Merlot wines is Sutter Home or Beringer Estate. Both are usually found at the corner liquor/wine store and they are affordable, too. I recommend chilling it a bit, say to 58 degrees or so. It’s more refreshing and bursts with fruit flavor in your mouth.

While I haven’t enjoyed a White Merlot in years, I do have fun reminiscing about it. And since it is #MerlotMe month, perhaps I’ll grab a bottle for old time’s sake.

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