Vol. 1, No. 16, May 3, 1999
© Copyright 1999 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
Nowadays, though, folks who knew that asking for Chardonnay was a with-it way to get a glass of white wine have learned that a call for Merlot brings forth a dry, fruity red that's easy to enjoy. (Should you be in any doubt, it's "Mare-low," if you please, with a French twist and the accent on the "Mare.")
The Merlot grape has been cultivated for two centuries or more in France, where its name in dialect reportedly means "little blackbird." Until quite recently, though, it has been used primarily in blended mixtures -- particularly in Bordeaux -- rather than standing on its own.
Some more serious wine fanciers shun the modern unblended Merlots because some of the budget-level examples are one-dimensional and boring, Merlot can make a wine that's soft, fruity and sippable. That's a combination that's hard to dislike!
What's your opinion on Merlot? Great wine, or best reserved for blending? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you've got Merlot tales to tell. And, as always, please don't hesitate to drop us a line if you'd like to comment on our topics and tasting notes, suggest a topic for a future bulletin, or just talk about wine.
If you're enjoying The 30 Second Wine Advisor, we hope you'll tell your wine-loving friends to register for their free weekly copy at http://www.wine-lovers-page.com/wineadvisor.
Lava Cap 1996 El Dorado Merlot ($18.99)
FOOD MATCH: A fine match with a hearty Portuguese-style kale and sausage soup.
The Hogue Cellars 1995 Columbia Valley (Washington State) "Barrel Select" Merlot ($14.99)
FOOD MATCH: A partial success in a risky match with Kung Pao chicken with peanuts: The wine's ripe fruit is a treat with the chicken and the earthy flavors of brown bean and hoisin sauces and roasted peanuts, but the hot and spicy flavors of this fiery dish would be a problem with any wine.
Casa Lapostolle 1997 "Cuvée Alexandre" Rapel Valley (Chile) Merlot ($19.99)
FOOD MATCH: A natural partner with steaks.
You are on the subscription list because our records indicate that you registered for it during a visit to Robin Garr's Wine Lovers' Page. If for any reason you don't want to receive this publication, simply send E-mail to 'email@example.com' and we'll remove your name from the list.
If your E-mail program is having trouble handling the images in this edition, feel free to request that we switch you from the HTML to TEXT edition ... or vice versa. We also welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. Send us E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
If you'd like to talk about wine online with fellow wine enthusiasts around the world, we'd be delighted to have you visit the interactive forums in our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group. If you're from another part of the world and don't feel entirely comfortable chatting in English, visit our International Forum and introduce yourself in the language of your choice.
The 30 Second Wine Advisor Home Page
Talk about wine | Ask wine question | Wine Lovers' Page