When you see the word Meritage on a wine label, don't bring out your best old-world French pronunciation. Contrary to what you hear, this is not an ancient viticultural term passed down through the generations in the Medoc. Nor is it a catch-all term for any red blend. This is actually a word created in 1988 by combining "merit" and "heritage" and is not found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. A group of American vitners founded The Meritage Assocation to identify hand-crafted American wines blended in the Bordeaux style and the word was chosen to define and brand this initiative.
Meritage wines must meet certain blending criteria put forth by the association and there are red Meritage wines as well as white Meritage wines. Today, there are over 130 members in 14 states, Canada, Australia, and Israel. For more information, see www.meritagewine.org.
Raise a glass...of Meritage!