One of the most well-known wine varietals produced in the Bordeaux region of France is called Merlot. At its best, Merlot is light, smooth, and silky, and should be paired with entrees with similar flavor profiles. Following are six dinner items that pair perfectly with a nice glass of Merlot from Bordeaux.
Smoked or Barbecued Chicken
Although poultry is usually paired with white wine, the flavor of smoked chicken has enough complexity to be successfully paired with a nice Merlot. Barbecued chicken is another excellent poultry choice for serving with Merlot, especially if the barbecue sauce contains honey.
This purely delicious delicacy simply cries out for being served with a nice glass of light red Merlot, particularly if the duck is wild rather than farm raised. Wild duck has a slightly gamey flavor that needs a wine with more complexity than white wines can provide.
Pan Fried Oysters
Pan fried oysters are also ideal for serving with Merlot, particularly if the breading contains spices such as powdered garlic, cracked black pepper, and chili powder. These spices provide the extra flavor boost necessary to enable the delicate taste of oysters to stand up to a light red wine.
Grilled salmon and light red wines like Merlot are an ideal combination for an elegant dinner. Salmon has a richer flavor profile than other types of seafood, making it a good choice for pairing with Merlot. Salmon species such as sockeye that have a sharper, more distinct flavor than pink salmon go especially well with Merlot.
Smoked Pork Chops
Smoked pork chops are another entree that you can successfully serve with a glass of Merlot. As with smoked chicken, the flavor provided by the smoking process adds the layer of complexity necessary for serving with a light red wine.
Merlot is particularly fitting for serving with vegetarian lasagna if the dish has been prepared using smoked cheese, but it also works with dishes that contain other types of cheeses, such as cheddar.
By now, you have probably noticed a common denominator in all the foods listed above -- they all have more robust and complex flavor profiles than other dishes. Light red wines such as Merlot complement these flavors nicely instead of becoming overwhelmed the way a fragile white wine would.
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