Merlot holds its own

If you are a fan of merlot, you may have been feeling a little left out of the wine buzz. "Maybe you feel your preferences are a little outdated, and that you should be drinking something a bit more upscale, a little harder to pronounce, a tad more nuanced," writes Richard Fadeley. But you can relax, he says. Merlot is America's most popular wine. His panel recent held a blind tasting of 15 merlots. Here are the results.

Lamole di Lamole

Lamole di Lamole 2009 Chianti Classico ($15.99)

Dark ruby with a clear bronze edge. Black cherries and earth, becomes a little more black-fruit focused with time in the glass. Mouth-filling, tart and dry, good black fruit and dried fruit and spice, benchmark Chianti Classico with ample, food-friendly acidity and substantial tannins; its claimed 13.5% alcohol is appropriate to the style. Good Sangiovese-based Tuscan red, shows its best with food.

More about this wine

Vino e Cucina d'Italia

White Sangiovese - it does exist

Ever heard of a white Sangiovese? Sangiovese is a red wine grape, but Neil Duarte found a small winery near Siena making a white wine from this iconic red grape. And, he reports, a very excellent white wine it is. Here's his report.