Thursday, October 22, 2020

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Wine, Good Times x 5 = an amazing #MerlotMe Month

Disclosure:  I received samples of wines with which to celebrate #MerlotMe.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.  I received no monetary compensation for this post.

October is the month dedicated bringing awareness to the often misunderstood and maligned Merlot wine.  Merlot is a noble grape that unfortunately became so popular that mass production became more important than quality.  

This, along with a movie called "Sideways",  created a situation where consumers were hesitant to buy Merlot.  The wine industry, recognizing the error of their ways, set about to rectify the problem.  They have been extremely successful.  


Merlot is, once again, a wine that you should absolutely stand up and take notice of.  It has many of the same qualities as Cabernet Sauvignon but is much more food friendly, pairing well with roasted chicken, pork dishes and Mexican food, to name a few.


I have been sipping and enjoying Merlot wines all month long.  The first bottle I opened was this L'Ecole 41.  I took this bottle over to my neighbor's where we sipped while sitting around the bonfire.  You can read all about it in my Wine Pairing Weekend Post.

wine with dinner plate

The second bottle I opened was a Peju Merlot that I paired with this Daube de Boeuf À la Gasconne  .  A review of that tasting can be found in the Wine Pairing Weekend post as well.

wine with dinner plate

The next bottle I opened was a Decoy from Duckhorn Wineries.  This is one of the tastings I am reviewing in this post. I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed Decoy wine numerous times.  The wine is one of my favorites and has a price point that makes it affordable enough to enjoy without a special occasion.  

3 women on deck toasting with wine

I enjoyed this one at another gathering with neighbors that we hosted at our house.  It was a beautiful fall weekend and I put a pork shoulder on the smoker for pulled pork.  Each neighbor brought a dish and we had a great time.  The Decoy Merlot is perfect for casual gatherings with picnic food...think grilled burgers, pulled pork, bbq chicken and, of course, pizza.


I was also very thrilled to receive another bottle of Merlot from Duckhorn.   This bottle has a higher price point and so I don't get to enjoy it as often as I would like.  I save bottles of this caliber for special meals.  This bottle was shared when the Teen had gone on a date and we decided to have our own, stay at home, date night.  Frank grilled up some steaks and we opened this bottle.  I will be sharing my tasting notes on this pairing later this month.


The final bottle that I'm sharing today, along with my tasting notes, comes from Charles Krug.  This is a wonderful blend of 82% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and small amounts of Petit Verdot and Malbec.  It is aged in French Oak barrels and is very smooth with hints of berries.  

We had planned on taking this bottle over to the home of our good friends, John and Kirsten.  Their son and his family were in town from North Dakota and we were to join them for dinner and  a visit before they headed home.  Kirsten's daughter in law, Amy, blogs over at Amy's Cooking Adventures.  Amy was very instrumental in me starting this blog and has mentored me along the way.  We always enjoy spending time with them. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling 100% and, while I thought it was probably just allergies, I wasn't going to take any chances with this pandemic still rearing it's ugly head. 

So we sent our apologies and then opened the bottle anyway because we didn't see any reason for the entire night to a disappointment.  So while there was no food pairing with this bottle of Charles Krug, we did enjoy sipping it in front of the fire place as we relaxed and read.  

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