Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Month Long Merlot Extravaganza #MerlotMe #WinePW

I received samples of Merlot wine for use in tasting and recipe pairing for the month of October.  I received no monetary compensation.  All opinions, writings and content of this blob are strictly my own.

Tender pork loin cutlets coated in panko bread crumbs and Dijon mustard, fried to a golden crisp and served with a creamy tomato sauce.

This is just one of many Merlot wine pairings I have enjoyed thus far in October.  Join me and the Wine PW group as we celebrate #MerlotMe month.

Each October, for the past several years, Jeff of FoodWineClick has invited us to join him in celebrating Merlot wines.  Jeff arranges for us to all receive samples of Merlot.   We spend the month tasting, pairing and enjoying. Then we get together and share our thoughts with our readers and each other.  We also meet up at Twitter Chat to further discuss our findings with wine lovers throughout the world.  We would love for you to join us at 11 AM ET today just follow #winepw and/or #MerlotMe to find us.  Learn more at Jeff's Preview Post.

Merlot is currently the 3rd most popular red wine sold in the USA, following Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blends.  This surprises me because Merlot is such a food friendly wine.  Don't get me wrong.  I love a good Cab Sauv when I am having a steak, however, I don't eat steak quite as often as I eat chicken and pork.  In my humble opinion, if you want to enjoy red wine with chicken and/or pork, Merlot is your best choice.

The first bottle I opened and paired this month was this lovely bottle from Duckhorn.  This is always the bottle I secretly hope for when each shipment arrives.  This is also my go to bottle to buy as a hostess gift when I am bringing wine when invited for dinner.  I know that no matter what the host is making (except maybe fish/seafood) this wine is going to pair wonderfully.

It is smooth, fruity and delicious.  This wine is mostly Merlot, with a good touch of Cab Sauv and a little touch of Malbec and Petit Verdot.  It is complex and paired very well with this dinner of Coffee Rubbed Pork Roast, Sweet Potato Casserole and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Onions that I will be sharing later this month.

The second bottle I am sharing with you today is from the same company however these grapes are grown in Sonoma rather than Napa.  This Decoy wine is about half the price of the Duckhorn making it a more reasonable "every day" wine.  It is made of mostly Merlot with just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon.

I paired this at a weeknight dinner with just the three of us, one of whom is too young to have wine with dinner.  Frank and I are both fans of Decoy and enjoy it regularly.  It paired perfectly with my Pecan Crusted Chicken with Pears.

Next up is Goldschmidt Winery that has vineyards all over the world.  This bottle of Chelsea Merlot comes from their vineyards in Alexander Valley.  It is 100% Merlot.  It's smooth with a little spice to it. I love drinking this by itself even though it pairs so well with food.  

I enjoyed this bottle after a day of running errands.  When I got home, Frank had made spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner and it was ready and waiting for me.  We poured a glass of the Chelsea Merlot with dinner and then a second glass as we sat at the table catching up with each other about our day.

The final food and wine pairing that I am sharing today is the recipe that I will be sharing for this Milanese Style Pork Cutlet.  

For this delicious dinner I opened up a bottle of organic wine from Bonterra Vineyards.  This wine is mostly Merlot with touches of Petite Sirah and Malbec.  It is aged in oak barrels.  It is very reasonably priced at $16 which I think is an outstanding value.  

It is soft and you get that warm, oaky flavor.  The sauce for my dish is quite acidic and this wine held up to those flavors very nicely.

And though my post is almost over, the month of October is still going strong.  I will be sharing more #MerlotMe pairings throughout the month.  I still have this bottle from Conch y Toro that I have yet to open.  All the other wines I was gifted were California.  This bottle is from Chile, so I need to find just the right pairing.  Stay tuned for that post.

Here is what the others are pairing up with their Merlot......

MerlotMe 2019 preliminary HTML 2019 1009

See you at 11 AM ET for Twitter chat.  Remember #MerlotMe and #winepw.  Looking forward to talking with you.

#pork, #cutlets, #crispy, #Milanese, #tomatoes, #sauce,
Entrees, Pork
Yield: 3 Servings

Milanese Style Pork Cutlets

Tender pork loin cutlets coated in panko bread crumbs and Dijon mustard, fried to a golden crisp and served with a creamy tomato sauce.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 30 M


  • 1/2 small sweet onion, diced
  • 5 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c.  roasted red bell pepper,  chopped (I used jarred this time)
  • 4 T. chopped parsley, divided
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 12 oz. pork loin, cut into 3 slices, pounded into thin cutlets


How to cook Milanese Style Pork Cutlets

  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a sauce pan over med high heat.  Add the onions and cook until fragrant and translucent.  Transfer to a food processor or heavy duty blender along with the tomatoes and roasted pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Return to pan.  Season with the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir in half of the parsley. Place over low heat to warm while you prepare the pork cutlets.
  2. Place the breadcrumbs and remaining parsley in a shallow bowl.  In a second shallow bowl beat together the eggs and mustard.  In a third shallow bowl place the flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over high heat.  Dredge the pork cutlets first in flour, then dip into the egg mixture before coating with the panko.  Saute the cutlets in hot oil for 3-4 minutes per side until crispy and golden brown.  
  4. Place a pool of sauce on three plates.  Lay a cutlet in each pool and drizzle with additional sauce.


Adapted from a recipe found in Cuisine at Home, Issue #77
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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I have never heard of Milanese-style cutlets until this week. First, your recipe, then in a book I'm reading. Definitely will have to whip up a batch for myself.

  2. My mom always made steak milanese when I was a kid and I loved. Going to have to try the pork version. Looks like you a had great line up!

  3. The pork cutlets look so delicious - I know they were by your description! Thanks for sharing all of this!

  4. Mmm, this pork recipe looks delicious! Perfect for a Merlot pairing.

  5. I'm loving the look and sound of the Milanese Pork Cutlets Wendy! Your pairings all sound wonderful!

  6. All of these pairings sound wonderful! I am looking forward to trying that pork recipe!

  7. So much great Merlot to go around! I'm thinking it would be great for Thanksgiving dinner too, right?

  8. Wow, what a month! And as you said, it's not even over, barely halfway! This dish looks like what we call escalopes milanaises, which we hadn't thought of in a long time. Have fun opening of the Concha y Toro!

  9. The "dressing" sounds and looks incredible! Great pairing and some wonderful examples of Merlot!

  10. That recipe looks mouthwatering! I've never seen anything like it, but sounds like it would be wonderful with Merlot.

  11. The sauce on the milanese looks delicious. I really enjoyed the Bonterra too.


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