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Meritage Wine

Often mistaken as Mair-i-TAHJZ, Meritage is as American as apple pie and so said "Mer-i-tidge" -think of it rhyming with "heritage." Meritage is an American take on French heritage at least so far as Bordelais traditions are concerned. In order for an American wine to be called Meritage it must be made from the same varieties allowed in Bordeaux. For red wines these include the Bordeaux five: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. For whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle. The trademarked Meritage category was born of a LA Times competition in 1981 to coin a term to be used for American wines that emulate the Bordeaux approach. Beyond their ingredients, Meritage blends tend to show more balance and versatility at the dinner table and have thereby won over many who once swore by varietal wines. Using the best character from each constituent variety, Meritage has a lot more to offer than a crayola box varietal wine that bears a limited scope of flavor and complexity. Meritage has rightfully become part of our American heritage and we're all the richer for it.

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