Red Wine
How to Serve Cabernet Merlot

How to Serve Cabernet Merlot
Cabernet Merlot wine is a blend of both cabernet and merlot grapes. It is a red with that has both bold and smooth flavors. The biggest misconception of red wines is that they are served at room temperature. The was true hundreds of years ago when houses were at a temperature around 63 degrees. Room temperature today is around 72 degrees. If the wine is served at a warm temperature, it will taste flat and bland. The proper way to serve Cabernet Merlot is with a slight chill, especially on hot summer days.
1. Place wine in the refrigerator for 40 minutes. Place the wine in the freezer for 5 minutes if you want to drink the wine sooner. This will help the wine reach a temperature around 63 degrees F, which is the ideal temperature for red wines.
2. Take the wine out of the freezer or fridge. Uncork the wine. Save the cork. Pour about three tablespoons of the Cabernet Merlot into a red wine glass.
3. Swirl the wine in the glass to get some air into it. The air will awaken all the flavors in the wine. Smell the wine. Take a sip and swish the wine inside your mouth to awaken all of your taste buds. Have your guest do the same.
4. Fill each wine glass halfway full, once everyone approves of the wine. Cork the bottle if there is still wine left. Place the bottle aside. The bottle of wine does not need to go back into the refrigerator if you plan to drink it right away.
Tips & Warnings
To check the temperature of a bottle of wine, place your hands around the bottle. The bottle should feel slightly cool. If the wine seems a little too cool, you can always warm it up with your hands using a wine glass.
Most restaurants serve their Cabernet Merlot at a temperature that is too warm. Ask the server if you can get a bucket with ice, then leave the bottle in the ice for about five minutes.
The Difference Between Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon
More alike than different, the red wines called Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon originated in the Bordeaux region of France. In fact, the two are often blended, with the smoother-tasting Merlot balancing the drier and fuller-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Experts frequently recommend Merlot for those new to the taste of red wines, while many prize Cabernet Sauvignon as the Old World standard of quality. The red wines Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are more alike than different. However, Merlot has a smoother taste and Cabernet Sauvignon, a fuller body.
Although both are red wines, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are made from different kinds of red or black grapes -- Merlot and Cabernet, respectively. The Merlot grapes have thinner skins than the Cabernet and they ripen earlier.
When experts discuss red wines, they often refer to tannins, organic compounds found in the seeds, skins and stems of grapes, and in the sediment at the bottom of a wine bottle. Tea and chocolate also contain tannins. In higher concentrations, tannins create a drying or "puckering" sensation in the back of the throat as well as a bitter aftertaste. Thicker grape skins and some aging treatments imbue Cabernet Sauvignon wines with higher tannin levels than those present in Merlot wines.
Flavor and Scent
When wine lovers describe the subtle nuances of wine flavors and scents, they compare them to more widely recognized fruits, edibles and aromatics. Merlot scents and flavors are frequently compared to plums and berries, while Cabernet Sauvignon wine evokes descriptors like chocolate, peppers, tobacco, blackcurrant, cedar and spices.
Due to its higher tannin content, quality Cabernet Sauvignon is usually aged -- sometimes for decades -- while Merlot can be consumed "young." Also, Cabernet Sauvignon is often stored in oak barrels during the aging process to impart subtly vanilla scents and flavors. The oak treatment also adds to the tannin content of the Cabernet.
Food Pairings
Considered a more compatible wine than its fuller-bodied cousin, Merlot pleasantly accompanies most foods. By contrast, the taste of Cabernet Sauvignon clashes with seafood and poultry; it pairs better with simply-prepared red meats.
If a bottle of wine is labeled after a specific type of grape, then that means at least 75 percent of its contents are derived from that grape. The other 25 percent would include grapes blended for taste enhancement or other purposes. Merlot grapes are often included in a primarily Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc wine to produce a smoother taste. In fact, vintners traditionally have grown Merlot grapes strictly for blending purposes; only in more recent years has Merlot been used a primary varietal in wine. Cabernet grapes have never been a wallflower varietal, but they are sometimes included in that relatively anonymous 25 percent to add richness or fuller body to a mostly Merlot or Shiraz wine.
How to Serve Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is perhaps the most well-known red wine, appearing on dinner tables nightly throughout the world. A popular California wine, this grape variety originated in the Bordeaux region of France and has been used in wine-making for centuries. Cabernet's bold flavor is best experienced when served in a certain way. Read on to serve this wine correctly, then sit back and enjoy.
1. Open the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon using a corkscrew and allow the wine to breathe for about 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Make sure the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is at room temperature before serving.
3. Pour the wine into large red wine glasses with wide openings. The greater the opening on the glass, the more the wine's flavor may be detected.
4. Store any remaining wine by corking the bottle and keeping it at room temperature. It is best to drink the Cabernet Sauvignon within 3 days. How To Pair Food Appetizers with Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet sauvignon is a popular red wine produced from cabernet grapes, which are the base for several good quality red wines. The supple flavors and aroma of cabernet sauvignon range from heavy fruits such as cherry, blackberry and raspberry, to complex woody and peppery undertones. Pair deep-flavored appetizers with the heavy-textured cabernet sauvignon to ensure that the wine blends well with your hors d'oeuvres.
1. Combine hard and aged full-flavored cheeses with cabernet sauvignon. Cheeses such as cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano and asiago pair well with cabernet.
2. Accompany red meat appetizers such as prosciutto ham with cabernet sauvignon. Roll-up thin slices of seasoned, cured or air-dried prosciutto ham along with a slice each of romaine lettuce leaves and Brie cheese and serve at room temperature or chilled alongside cabernet sauvignon.
3. Serve bitter flavored vegetable appetizers with cabernet sauvignon. Prepare bruschetta toppings or tapenade sauce dips by adding vegetables such as broccoli rabe, grilled radicchio or roasted Brussels sprouts. The bitterness in these vegetables evenly balances the cabernet's bitter tannins.
How to Chill Wine in the Refrigerator
White wines like riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and sparkling wine are traditionally served cold. Bottles of wine can be quickly chilled in a bucket of ice. White wine can also be kept in coolers specifically designed to chill wine. Regular refrigerators can also be used to chill wine.
1. Change the temperature setting inside the refrigerator to 45 degrees Farenheit.
2. Put the bottle of wine inside the refrigerator. Make sure that isn't crowded and won't be knocked over.
3. Leave the wine in the refrigerator for two hours before serving it.

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