Friday, October 9, 2020

Woohoooooooo....It is #MerlotMe month #WinePW

So excited to be back celebrating Merlot Me Month with the crew over at Wine Pairing Weekend.  I look forward to this event all year long.  We drink wine nearly every night with dinner and during October we open mostly Merlot as a tribute to the wineries around the world who celebrate a month long celebration called #MerlotMe.

Merlot Month Graphic

Each year wineries send out samples of their wines to our members.  We, in turn, write about the wines giving our honest reviews and opinions, talking about the food pairings we tried and whether they were successful pairings or if we would recommend a different pairing for the wine.

We never know what wines we will receive and we are not given any monetary payment for our posts.  Our only obligation is to enjoy the wines and to be completely honest with our reviews.  


Because of all the wild fires this year our wines were slow and late in arriving.  The first wine that I recieved was a new to me Merlot from L'Ecole 41.    L'Ecole 41 is located in Walla Walla in Columbia Valley, Washington.  It is recognized as one of the Washington State's top producers of Merlot.

This was a 2017 edition.  It poured deep and dark.  The aromas are fruit and leather.  It has some mineral notes and spice. It has a SRP of $25.00.

Woman and Child by firepit

I took this bottle over to my neighbor's for a bonfire on the night it arrived.  My Angel Face brought the makings for S'mores but she prefers just the marshmallows.  This is how to roast a marshmallow according to my little sous chef:
  1. Pick out a perfect stick and let grampy make a point on it.
  2. Put on your marshmallow
  3. You don't want to go where there is fire, just go where it is glowing red.
  4. Turn the marshmallow very slowly, keep turning it so it doesn't burn
  5. It is done when it is perfectly caramelized.
My Angel Face went on to explain to everyone that caramelize is her new favorite word.  We all agreed that caramelize IS a very good word.  I had shared my wine with our neighbor, Nancy, and she and I agreed that Merlot and caramelized marshmallows make for a wonderful fall night treat.


The next bottle that I received was also from a winery with which I was unfamiliar, Peju.  Peju winery is located in Napa Valley, California.  This bottle was a 2016 and has an SRP of $48.00.  

One of the things that I love about Merlot is that it is so food friendly.  I think it goes with just about anything.  This bottle was 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is a deep red, almost black and smells of fall spices.  It is full bodied and well balanced.  It was wonderful paired with a  Daube de Boeuf À la Gasconne.

Wine with Dinner plate

This was a very rich dish beef and root vegetables slow braised in red wine and then finished off with the addition of dark chocolate.  It needed a strong wine to stand up to it and this Peju Merlot filled the bill.  

I will be sharing the recipe for Daube de Boeuf À la Gasconne on Monday when we kick off Choctoberfest.


The day that I was writing this post I received two more lovely bottles of Merlot from Duckhorn Vineyards.  Duckhorn wines is a brand with which I am very familiar and which I love.  They are very generous sponsors each year and I always look forward to receiving their selections.  

I will be opening and pairing each of these bottles during #MerlotMe month and sharing them with my readers so stay tuned for that.  

The members of Wine Pairing Weekend are going to be getting together on Saturday, October 10th at 11 AM for Twitter chat.  We will be discussing our thoughts on Merlot and may be joined by reps from the wineries who will be available to answer any questions you might have.  You will find us by following #winePW and #Merlotme.  We look forward to having our readers join us at these chats.

Here are the topics we will be discussing:


  1. Caramelize IS a great word! And did the marshmallows truly go well?! A friend of mine is a marshmallow freak, I must pass on this important information!

    1. I don't know that I would open a bottle just to pair with Marshmallows but if you are enjoying a glass out by the bonfire and you are offered a perfectly caramelized marshmallow you will certainly enjoy it LOL.

  2. That rich braised meat seems the better pairing for my palate!

  3. Angel Face is right: caramelization is the key to all good things! Cheers to s'mores (or just marshmallows) and #MerlotMe month.

  4. Carmelize is a wonderful word! Smoky flavors to pair with Merlot, and then you tied in the chocolate. I love the idea of adding the dark chocolate to the daube! I recently had a caprese salad on a rare occasion dining out (outside and socially distanced)where they offered shaved dark chocolate as an addition. It was delicious! Interesting, flavor combinations keep our taste buds on their toes!

    1. They do and I love the idea of adding shaved chocolate to the Caprese. I'm going to have to try that.

  5. oh my gosh! "Pick out a perfect stick and let grampy make a point on it." love it!!! a future recipe creator!!!

  6. I love Your Angel Face's instructions on how to roast marshmallows, and I'm in complete agreement with her on the word "caramalize"-- it only means good things!

  7. This post is so delightful! Angel Face teaches us how to roast marshmallows and introduces her new favorite word. The best. The wine and food look wonderful too!

  8. I'm loving the sound of the Peju and your Daube de Boeuf À la Gasconne Wendy! Both Peju and L'Ecole are great producers!

  9. S'mores is something I haven't had in ions, what a great idea with the L'Ecole Merlot. I agree with you 1000% about caramelize being a good word. The slight smoky sweetness... yum! Nice pairing with that wine Wendy ;-D


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