Pinot Noir vs Merlot : What to Choose? - Wine by hearts
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Pinot Noir vs Merlot : What to Choose?

Are you a wine lover looking to explore the nuances of two of the world’s most popular red wine varieties i.e Pinot Noir vs Merlot? Both of these wines are renowned for their unique flavors, aromas, and textures, and are beloved by wine enthusiasts all over the world.

But which one is truly the superior wine? That’s a question that has sparked endless debates and passionate discussions among wine lovers everywhere.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of Pinot Noir vs Merlot, exploring the differences between these two extraordinary wines and helping you to discover which one can be the perfect fit for your palate.

Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir vs Merlot

Famous “Chocolat” novel writer Joanne Harris has said rightly so “Pinot Noir is the most romantic of wines, with so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, and so powerful a punch that, like falling in love, they make the blood run hot and the soul wax embarrassingly poetic.”

Pinot Noir captures the essence of elegance and finesse in a way that few other wines can. With its delicate, translucent ruby color, it beckons you to take a sip and explore its myriad flavors and aromas.

The wine’s subtle complexities are a true delight for the senses, with notes of ripe cherry, raspberry, and strawberry tantalizing your taste buds, and hints of earth, spice, and floral undertones adding depth and complexity to the wine.

Pinot Noir is a grape variety that demands the utmost care and attention in the vineyard, but when grown successfully, it produces wines of exceptional beauty and finesse.

It is a wine that is capable of expressing the nuances of a specific vineyard, and even a particular vintage, in a way that is unmatched by any other grape variety.

This wine that embodies the art and science of winemaking, as well as the connection between the land, the people who grow the grapes, and the final product that ends up in the glass.

It is particularly associated with the Burgundy region of France, where it is the dominant grape variety in some of the world’s most famous and expensive wines.


There’s nothing quite like the smooth, velvety texture and rich, juicy flavors of a well-made Merlot. This grape variety has captured the hearts of wine lovers around the world for a long long time and for a good reason.

The history of Merlot can be traced back centuries in Bordeaux, France, and it has since become one of the most beloved wine grapes in the world.

From the sun-drenched vineyards of Napa Valley to the rolling hills of Tuscany, Merlot is grown and produced in some of the most breathtaking wine regions on earth.

Merlot grapes can be challenging to grow because they are susceptible to diseases such as powdery mildew and botrytis and are more sensitive to frost and heat.

Merlot grapes are generally grown in temperate climates with warm summers and cool autumns. They thrive in well-drained soil with good water retention, as too much water can lead to diluted flavors in the grapes.

When you taste Merlot, you can expect to experience flavors of black cherry, plum, and chocolate. It’s often described as a medium to full-bodied wine with a smooth and approachable taste.

Someone has said it right “Merlot is like that comfortable old pair of jeans – always reliable, always comfortable, and always a good choice.” – Anonymous

Key Differences Between Pinot Noir Vs Merlot.

Hands Toasting Wine Glasses With Red Wine

Pinot Noir vs Merlot – two wines, two classics, two different worlds. Let’s explore the key differences between these two extraordinary wines.

1. Flavor profile – Pinot Noir is known for its delicate flavors of red fruit, floral notes, and earthy undertones, while Merlot has flavors of ripe black fruit, chocolate, and vanilla.

2. Body and tannins – Merlot wine grapes are fuller-bodied with higher tannins and lower acidity, while Pinot Noir wine grapes are lighter-bodied with low tannins and high acidity.

3. Wine Color – Pinot Noir wine is typically lighter in color than Merlot wine. It often has a translucent ruby red hue, with shades that can range from pale garnet to deep crimson, depending on the grape’s ripeness and the winemaking techniques used.

Merlot wine, on the other hand, tends to be a darker shade of red, with hues that can range from deep purple to ruby red.

3. Climate and region – Merlot wine grapes are often grown in warmer climates with longer growing seasons, while Pinot Noir wine grapes thrive in cooler climates with shorter growing seasons.

4. Yield and vineyard management – Merlot wine grapes are known for their high yield and are relatively easy to grow and manage in the vineyard, while Pinot Noir wine grapes are notoriously difficult to grow and require careful management to achieve optimal ripeness and flavor development.

5. Food pairing – Pinot Noir is often paired with lighter dishes such as poultry and seafood, while Merlot is often paired with heartier dishes such as beef or lamb.

6. Alcohol Percentage – Pinot Noir wines typically have an ABV of around 12-14%, with some higher-end examples reaching 14.5% or more. Merlot wines, on the other hand, tend to have slightly higher ABV levels, with an average range of 13.5-15%.

However, there are many factors that can influence the ABV of wine, including grape ripeness, fermentation methods, and aging processes.

What To Choose: Pinot Noir vs Merlot?

Pinot noir vs Merlot People Having A Toast

For a novice wine drinker, a good starting point would be a wine that is easy to drink, approachable, and not too complex. Pinot Noir is one of those wines.

Pinot Noir is a great choice because it’s fruity, smooth, and has low tannins, making it easy to drink and pair with a variety of foods. It’s a great introduction to the world of red wine and is perfect for those who are looking for something that’s not too heavy or bold.

On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for a fuller-bodied wine with rich flavors of ripe black fruit then Merlot is the way to go.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing wine – it’s all about what you enjoy and what suits your taste buds. So go ahead, try both Pinot Noir and Merlot and discover your new favorite wine.

Top 3 Merlot Wine Bottles.

Pinot noir vs Merlot

Here are the top 3 Merlot wines you should try.

1. Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2017.

This full-bodied red wine hails from Napa Valley’s prestigious Three Palms Vineyard and is made from 91% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.

With a deep ruby-red color and intoxicating aromas of black cherry, plum, cedar, and raspberry with a hint of chocolate and sweet baking spices.

As you take a sip, the flavors of ripe black fruits and red fruits explode on your palate, delivering a rich and velvety mouthfeel.

2. Gundlach Bundschu Merlot 2016.

Gundlach Bundschu Merlot 2016 is an elegant and complex red wine from Sonoma Valley, California.

This wine is made from 100% Merlot grapes that are hand-harvested from the estate’s vineyards, which are situated on the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains.

The wine has a deep, dark ruby-red color with flavor dominant with red fruit, cherry, and plum.

3. Château l’Arrosee Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2010.

Château l’Arrosee Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2010 is a stunning and complex red wine from the Saint-Émilion region of Bordeaux, France.

This wine is made from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that are hand-harvested from the estate’s vineyards.

The wine has a deep, dark ruby-red color with intense aromas of black cherry, blackcurrant, and plum, along with hints of vanilla and tobacco.

Top 3 Pinot Noir Wine Bottles.

Two Unrecognizable Hands Making Cheers with Wine

Here are the top 3 Pinot Noir wines you need to try.

1. 2021 Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir.

This opulent and multi-layered wine hails from the stunning Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, California.

With its seductive aromas of cherry liquor, sweet tobacco, fresh fennel, rose petals, and boysenberry preserves, this Pinot Noir is the epitome of sophistication and elegance.

On the palate, the wine explodes with an explosion of juicy flavors of blood orange, sour cherry jam, tamarind, and raspberry jerk sauce, all perfectly balanced with a hint of savory green plantains.

2. Belle Pente Pinot Noir.

An exceptional red wine hailing from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, known for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir wines. It showcases the perfect blend of fruitiness, oka, and earthiness.

3. Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir.

This exquisite red wine hails from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, California. As you pour this wine into your glass, you’ll meet with a burst of red fruit aromas.

On the palate, it’s dominated by red cherry and raspberry flavor with a hint of black tea and minerality.

Conclusion : Pinot Noir vs Merlot.

In the end, it’s impossible to say which wine is truly the winner in the Pinot Noir vs Merlot debate.

Whether you prefer the delicate nuances of Pinot Noir or the bold fruit flavors of Merlot, there’s no denying that these two wines are among the most beloved and respected in the world of wine.

So raise a glass to Pinot Noir vs Merlot – two wines that will continue to inspire passion and debate for years to come.