A Frenchman and a social butterfly, I met you so many times, usually hanging out with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. If the three of you were Le Trois Mousquetaires. you’d be Porthos, honest, gullible, sweet, affable, slightly plump, full figured and maybe soft in the head. The extrovert of the group, you enjoyed song, women, a cigar, and laughs, but you are also extremely dedicated and loyal toward your friends and fellow Musketeers. Even here in New York you’re still often palling around with or talking about them, nonchalantly and in your cavalier manner, jibbing off-the-cuff during the lean ceremonies of Cab Franc, and amiably and generously give softness and a sense of maturity to rendezvous with the more bitter youth of Cab Sauvignon, for yes, humor is the mature response. You are always easy going, unfussy, and relaxed. But your informality never verged on un-tailored, you were always well-dressed.

Merlot: The Musketeer PorthosUntitled-1

Merlot (AKA Petit Merle, Vitraille, Bigney, Crabutet Noir) is a Vitis vinifera (old world) grape, dark blue-colored, plummy, with hints of berry, that is used as both for blending, usually with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and as a single variety wine. Coming from the Bordeaux region, where it is widely planted, it is one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets. Compared to Cab Sauv, it has thinner skin and fewer tannins, with a higher sugar content and lower malic acid. It thrives in cold soil, particular ferrous clay. It buds early and has a tendency to overripen once it hits initial ripeness. The soft, velvety wines, can continue to develop in bottle for decades. First planted in Long Island in 1974.