Merlot Appetizers

Also Agiorgitiko, Dolcetto, Tempranillo, Red Rioja, Carménère, Right Bank Bordeaux, Grenache/Garnacha, and Montepulciano

For Merlot pairing, match food with the wine body (medium to medium plus) and the acidity (low for a red) and low to medium tannins (avoid salty or fatty)

Meatballs – Swedish, non-hot Italian, or even Merlot glazed meatballs  

Roast beef rolls (slices from the deli) but without the horseradish or use a very mild horseradish spread. For alternatives you could use deli-sliced rotisserie chicken breast, teriyaki chicken breast, roast turkey or pastrami.

Classic Lipton Onion Soup mix chip/cracker dip

Cheeses such as Brie (my preference without the bitter skin coating pairs better) or creamed Brie spread, triple cream, medium or sharp cheddar, gouda, sliced parmesan, smoked provolone or smoked gouda, or Monterey Jack. 

Cheese fondue with dippers of bread, carrots, roasted small potatoes/pieces, wheat crackers, roasted bell peppers, pearl onions, cherry tomatoes, meatballs, cooked pasta like rigatoni, ravioli, tortellini, conchiglie, agnolotti

Fried Manchego Cheese

Potato skins with slight butter, salt and pepper, optional melted cheese

Hummus (non lemony) or hummus bruschetta 

Beef Wellington Bites with a garlic or herbed aioli

Peanut butter and jelly on Ritz crackers

Cheetos or Cheese puffs (not the hot ones)

Castelvetrano olives in brine

Peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds but probably not walnuts, pecans or pistachios which are more tannic

Red grapes

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