Merlot (‘MERL-oh’ in British English and French, mer-LOH in American English) is a red wine grape that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines.

Merlot-based wines usually have medium body with hints of berry, plum, and currant. Its softness and “fleshiness”, combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot an ideal grape to blend with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon.

This flexibility has helped to make it one of the most popular red wine varietals in the United States and Chile.