Friday, October 7, 2022

Merlot: Smooth, Savory and Sustainable #Merlotme #WinePW

Duckhorn Vineyards, located in Lodi, California has been a proud sponsor of #MerlotMe since it's inception.  This year they provided me with a bottle of 2019 Decoy Merlot for sampling purposes.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post and all opinions are strictly my own.

Decoy Wine

I was thrilled to recieve wine from Duckhorn because I know that when I open a bottle of their wine I am going to get a quality product that not only tastes delicious but is made with sustainability in mind.   I first experienced Duckhorn wines in 2015 when I was provided a bottle of Duckhorn Merlot as well as a bottle of Decoy Merlot from the winery established by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976.  You can read about that and my first experience celebrating #MerlotMe in this Triple Food and Merlot Tasting.


This started my love affair with Duckhorn Wines and I regularly enjoy not only their Merlot but also their other varietals and blends.  I was recently gifted a bottle of Paraduxx from Duckhorn, a red blend that was truly amazing and perfect for special occasions.  

Duckhorn also introduced a line of wines from Washington State that they call Canvasback.  I was wowed when I tried a bottle of the Canvasback with Smoked Beef Brisket one night.

But the wine I purchase and enjoy most often from Duckhorn Vineyards are the Decoy brands.  These wines were established in 1985 when Duckhorn created a red blend and named it Decoy.  In 2008, Decoy went from being a second label wine supporting Duckhorn to being it's own focused winery featuring Cab Sauv, Merlot, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir in addition to the original red blend with white wines being introduced the following year.

Decoy continues to expand and grow, introducing a Hard Seltzer in 2021.  I tried the Orange Chard Seltzer  during the summer and enjoyed it very much.  I look to Decoy wines when I want a reasonably priced bottle that I can open regularly, either alone or when entertaining, with the assurance that it will be delightful.

In 2016, the Duckhorn Winery Blog shared the following post:

November 9, 2016 | Courtney Preston -Viticulturist 

Farming Responsibly 

The Vineyard Team here at DWC places a lot of value in being good stewards of the land. In order to try to be as sustainable and eco friendly as we can we follow a program called Integrated Pest Management. This program is a year round system that we implement in order to have a proactive farming plan. The purpose of IPM programs are to eliminate pesticide treatments that are unnecessary, minimize risks to water and air, and to protect beneficial insects as well as pollinators. 

Always being educated and aware of the ecosystem around us helps us make conscience decisions for vineyard practices. 

Most of our vineyards have also been certified by Fish Friendly Farming. The certification itself is a rigorous process and helps us to maintain and create ideal environmental quality and habitats on private land. Long term environmental improvements and farming sustainably will help us create a better future for farming. 

We love our vineyards and taking good care of soil, air, plant and water mean that we can continue to grow amazing grapes year after year while also being the best environmentalists that we can be!

I paired the Merlot that I was given for this event with lamb chops that I prepared air sous vide style. You can read about that pairing and get the recipe in my post from yesterday.

Lamb and Wine

We are all gathering for Twitter chat tomorrow morning at 11 AM ET.  This chat is being hosted by Jeff of Food Wine Click who coordinates our #MerlotMe month each year.  You can read his invitation post and enjoy the links to our celebrations for the past 8 years.  We would love for you to join us at chat.  You will find us following either #MerlotMe or #WinePW.  Here are some of the topics we will be discussing.......

▪Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Merlot: Smooth, Savory and Sustainable
▪Cindy at Grape Experiences shares “Comfort Food and Wines for Fall: Savory Slow Cooker Chicken and Classic Merlot
▪Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Celebrating #MerlotMe with Mushrooms, Truffles, and a Wine from a Cal Alumna
▪David at Cooking Chat shares “Everyday Pasta Sauce with Ground Beef and Chickpeas
▪Jane at Always Ravenous shares “Fall Food Pairings with Merlot
▪Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles shares “#MerlotMe with figs, cherries and a nice grilled steak
▪Linda at My Full Wine Glass shares “Kicking off #MerlotMe month with Napa Valley wine and lasagna soup
▪Jennifer at Vino Travels shares “Warm up with Merlot and Pappardelle Bolognese
▪Gwendolyn at Wine Predator…Gwendolyn Alley shares “Smoked Lamb/Beef Meatloaf Says #MerlotMe with Sonoma’s Decoy and Washington’s Pedastal
▪Susannah at Avvinare shares “Forever A Devoted Merlot Fan"
▪Liz at What's in that Bottle shares "Three Family-Owned Merlots for Fall"
▪Terri at Our Good Life shares "Provencal Eggplant Stew + Decoy Merlot for #MerlotMe"
▪Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Merlot and 40 Cloves of Garlic


  1. Decoy is delightfully predictable and, therefore, easy to pair. I don't think I have ever tried it with lamb though. Will definitely give that a try soon. Yum.


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