October is #MerlotMe month and I have been fortunate enough to be allowed to participate in this fun event for the past several years. Merlot is a French wine grape originally from Bordeaux and one of the blending grapes used for that iconic wine.
This year, as a member of our Wine Pairing Weekend group, I was provided with 3 wines that I poured tasted and paired. I will be sharing my thoughts about these wines with you today. I have received no monetary compensation and all writings and opinions are strictly my own.
Merlot was later moved to Medoc and blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for the wine from that area however these vines were nearly decimated by blight, weather and disease and production all but ceased by 1956. The new vines planted were plagued with disease and in 1970 the French Government banned any new Merlot crops.
This caused Merlot crops in other parts of the world to surge in popularity and when the French Government, once again, allowed merlot vines to be planted in 1975 the wine was in it's hey day. Then, as often happens when something is so popular and demand so intense, quality waned and disappointment followed.
Winemakers, realizing their error began taking steps to rectify the situation and by the 1990's Merlot was rising again in popularity. In California, area winemakers decided to dedicate the month of October to Merlot and created #MerlotMe month to raise awareness of this delicious, food friendly varietal.
"We believe in the power of community, the sanctity of the soil, the inspiration of collaboration and the notion that all voices deserve to be heard. We stay committed to doing the right thing in service to our land, our people and our customers."
It is a company that I'm proud to support and the wine was totally amazing. The Altruist that I was provided is a red blend of predominantly Merlot that is aged for 15 months in oak barrels. It is priced at around $30 a bottle with each bottle bought providing a donation to the Gary Sinise Foundation to support our unsung heroes.
I paired this wine with an absolutely rich and decadent Lasagna Bolognese that paired perfectly with this strong, Bordeaux style blend.
- 2012 Ridge Estate Merlot + Reverse Sear Ribeye Steak by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
- Bonterra and Creamy Lasagna Soup by Our Good Life
- California Dreamin’ for #MerlotMe Month, Part I by My Full Wine Glass
- Celebrate #MerlotMe with a Wine that Hits the Mark by Supporting Veterans by Exploring the Wine Glass
- Experiments with Salmon and Merlot by Somm's Table
- Ground Beef and Kale Recipe with #MerlotMe Wine by Cooking Chat
- I Melt for Merlot and Chocolate by What's in That Bottle?
- Kicking off #MerlotMe with 2 Rutherford Hill Merlots and Decadent Burgers with Chocolate! by Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Merguez Sausages and a Debut #MerlotMe Wine from Gürbüz by The Quirky Cork
- Merlot with Chicken in a Mushroom Wine Sauce by Vino Travels
- #MerlotMe and Meaty Asian Sandwich by Chinese Food & Wine Pairings
- Mushroom Madness Paired with Merlot by Always Ravenous
- October Means #MerlotMe Paired With Instant Pot Bacon Mushroom Merlot Chicken by Wine Predator........Gwendolyn Alley
- One of the Oldest Foods on Earth + 2019 Bonterra Organic Merlot by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Tri-Tip Steak and Duckhorn, a #MerlotMe Classic by Food Wine Click!
- Won't You Please #MerlotMe? by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Lemon Charred Beef with Vegetable Spaetzle
- 4 (6 oz) filet mignon
- juice and 1 t. zest of small lemon
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 T. olive oil, divided
- 1 T. paprika
- 1 c. beef broth
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 red onion, cut into thick slices
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 4 T. Butter, divided
- 1 pkg. Spaetzle, cooked per package directions
- 1/2 t. dried thyme
- 1/2 t. rubbed sage
- Place the lemon juice, zest, brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper into a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a pie plate, reserving 2 Tablespoons, and add the steaks, turning to coat all over. Cover and let rest in the marinade for one hour.
- Toast the paprika in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking and stirring until a deep brick color. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place the broth into a saucepan along with the minced onion and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2/3 cup. Stir in the sour cream and paprika, reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place the red onion slices onto a broiling pan and brush them on both sides with the reserved marinade. Place the peppers onto the broiling pan with the onions and place under the broiler, turning occasionally for about 15 minutes, until charred all over.
- Place the peppers into a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside for 15 minutes. Roughy chop the onion and set aside.
- Peel and core the peppers, removing seeds and cut into slices.
- Drain the filets and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the butter and the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When hot place the steaks into the skillet and cook for about 7 minutes, until nicely browned. Flip the steaks and place the skillet into a preheated 450* oven for about 5 minutes or until desired temperature is met. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rewarm the sauce. Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet, add the cooked spaetzle and fry over high heat until crisp and golden brown. Stir in the red onion and peppers and cook until warmed through.
- Divide the spaetzle between 4 plates, mounding onto the middle of each. Place a steak on top and spoon 1/4 of the sauce onto each.
Adapted from a recipe found in Food and Wine.
Sat. Fat (grams)16.72