The Merlot grape is a dark blue wine grape variety, which only produces red wines. Thought to have first been used for winemaking in Bordeaux, in the 16th Century, Merlot is still the most widely planted grape there. The two most famous appellations for using Merlot grapes are Saint Emilion and Pomerol. The Merlot vine is very adaptable to different soils, which has helped its popularity grow globally. The grape loses its characteristics, such as its rich flavours if picked too late. Merlot is typically a soft, elegant, and flavourful grape, which is best served around room temperature. The best food pairings for Merlot include; roast duck, beef, or roasted tomatoes. Spicy foods are best to avoid with Merlot because of the full body and flavourful nature of the wine.