Merlot pairs easily with many kinds of cheeses. Semi-hard cheeses with nutty, salty flavors are ideal. But merlot is also a nice match for cheeses as diverse as parmesan, muenster, brie, colby, and gorgonzola.
The general approach to pairing cheese and merlot also works for a chianti pairing, a zinfandel pairing, or a merlot pairing. You want to match the intensity of the wine and the cheese – delicate cheeses will be blown away by big, bold, tannic wines, while lighter wines won't hold their own against cheeses with strong, sharp flavor. Salty cheeses and stinky cheeses are nicely matched by sweet wines. And when considering texture, you can either complement or contrast the texture of the cheese and wine.