Merlot is a dry, red, medium-bodied wine that once was considered a less than desirable choice by many — described as Cabernet’s “poor cousin” by the “International Wine Guide.” Today, with the emphasis placed on the health benefits of red wine, merlot wines are often enjoyed by people who appreciate the wine for its not too subtle, yet not too powerful, taste.
Serve merlot at a temperature between 57 degrees Fahrenheit and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Room temperature is not ideal for serving. If the merlot is out of the ideal temperature range, refrigerate it for 10 minutes to decrease the temperature by approximately 4 degrees Fahrenheit until it reaches the ideal range.
Pour the merlot into a large, full, clear wine glass, with a top that curves slightly inward, that can hold at least 8 oz. of wine. Fill the glass no more than one-third full so you can swirl the wine in the glass. Hold the wine glass by the stem so you don't inadvertently warm the wine from the heat of your hands.
Swirl the wine in the glass and inhale and enjoy its scent or bouquet before taking your first taste. Sip the wine at leisure and enjoy the flavor.