Merlot grapes produce a red wine with flavors and aromas of black cherry, berries, plum, chocolate, and some herbs. Merlot wine is popular with people trying to get accustomed to drier, more complex red wines because of its other characteristics, like low tannins which make it easier to drink than other reds wines.
The softer characteristics of Merlot with the fruity flavors make it a red wine that's well-suited to lighter foods that won't overwhelm the flavors of the wine.
More experienced wine drinkers sometimes see these characteristics as disadvantages and prefer Merlot when mixed with other, more complex red grape varieties — especially those that are harsher alone and can benefit from softening. Nevertheless, it is possible to create complex, interesting wines from Merlot grapes.
Merlot vs. White Merlot
White Merlot is produced in the same fashion as White Zinfandel, though this blush version of Merlot isn't as common as the blush version of Zinfandel. The Merlot grapes are crushed as usual, but the skins are only left with the grape juice for a short period of time before they are removed. This causes the final wine to be slightly colored, but not as deeply red as normal Merlot is.