Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the color of the grape.
Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.
Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in the World. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties.
Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence;
. To supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $17,000)
. For a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $700)