Blackbird Merlot, 2018. Merlot, from the French Merle or blackbird, was presumably named for the dark blue, purple, almost black color of its berries. With flavors of cherry, blackberry and plumb along with its supple tannins, this merlot pairs well with everything from chicken to prime rib to pizza. After a temporary fall from popularity, merlot is back and back with a vengeance. Blackbird Fly!