newbie needs your help - Printable Version

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+--- Forum: Merlot (/forumdisplay.php?fid=25)
+--- Thread: newbie needs your help (/showthread.php?tid=9036)

- mccrazy - 12-25-2000 07:06 PM

hi everyone! let me start by saying this whole wine thing is new to me, so your patience with my ignorance about wines will be greatly aprreciated as will your help. merlots seem to be the hot wine these days, so can anyone tell me the best way to serv them and recommend a couple of good ones. thanks for your help.

- Drew - 12-25-2000 10:51 PM

Hello mccrazy and welcome to the board. Merlot is best served between 60-65 deg/F. If you search the Merlot thread you'll find many recs. of good merlot with prices. Some of the favorites are Blackstone Napa, Swanson, Chateau St. Jean, Lewis and many more.


- mccrazy - 12-26-2000 07:16 PM

drew thank you for your help. greatly appreciated.

- hotwine - 12-26-2000 10:25 PM

Don't overlook the Blackstone California. At about $11, it's priced a bit less than the Napa, but it's still a delightful wine.

- Thomas - 12-27-2000 09:04 AM

Hey mccrazy, by all means, try the Merlots suggested, but don't get stuck on the "hot" wine of the day. Try lots of different wines with names other than Merlot. Try European, Australian, New Zealand and domestic wines other than just California. Try red, white, sparkling, and dessert.

Read about wine--it is a fantastic subject.

Meet a good wine retailer and latch on for suggestions.

Repeat: do not get stuck in what is "hot."

[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 12-27-2000).]

- Scoop - 12-27-2000 12:53 PM

There are certainly some good 100% Merlots out there (among many dogs), and you've got some good recommendations from the Board, but IMHO, the merlot grape is best used in blends with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc and some others, i.e., like in many Bordeaux, Cali "Mertitage", some nice Aussies, even on Long Island (like the 1997 Schneider Cab Franc, that has a nice dose -- around 17% I believe -- of Merlot). Also, under US wine law, as long as the wine is 75% from one variety, it can be labelled as such. Hence, many US "merlots" out there do have some other varieties blended in, like their distant cousins from St. Emillion, which invariably improve on the (mere) Merlot. Cab Sauv often gives the often voloptuous (but sometimes "soft" or "fat") Merlot some welcome "backbone" or "structure"; Cab Franc can lend some nice herbaceous qualities. Both (and others, like Petit Verdot, Malbec and others) can (and do)improve the Merlot-based blend. Vintners in Bordeaux have been doing it for generations -- and not for nothing!

So, in the spirit of Foodie's remarks, but keeping it under the Merlot roof, there is a lot to explore within -- and beyond -- the currently "hot" Merlot banner.



- Innkeeper - 12-27-2000 02:27 PM

Foodie and Scoop gave very good advice, and let you down softly. Heh, heh! Merlot is a one dimensional wine when made up 100%. That one dimension can be quite good under certain rare growing and/or wine making conditions. Most American, Australian, and Chilian Merlot tasts more like wood than like wine. IMHO the best way to enjoy merlot is in Pomerol, and St Emilion. These always have some other wines blended into them. A relativey inexpensive Pomerol that is fairly steady year in and year out is Chateau De Sales. It runs around $20.00 and usually needs to lie down for two or three years. Blends from Australia are much less expensive and more approachable, but they do tend to have a heavy hand with the oak.