For new drinkers, merlot is best described as "cabernet sauvignon without pain", because it is smooth and not astringent. The grape is the second most planted dark skinned grape in the world, right behind cabernet sauvignon. While pure merlot is very popular in America, merlot is better associated its blend with cabernet sauvignon: bordeaux <- which I will talk very extensively about later.
Merlot is widely planted in all types of different climate. Merlot is good for pairing with more delicate red meat, such as veal, meat loaf, lean roasts and ribs, stews, or roasted or some grilled white meat such as duck, chicken, turkey.