This month's offering is a humble Merlot. I am of the opinion that a certain overhyped, overrated film greatly tarnished this old standby's reputation. And I think it was unwarranted. The biggest sin of Merlot seems to be that it is a blend of grapes. Since I'm a big believer in stews, mutts, potlucks, and mixed-race presidents, purity doesn't hold a lot of sway for me.
So if you still enjoy a nice Merlot on occasion, this is one of the best I've found for the price. It's from a California vineyard called Bogle, which also offers a very nice Old Vine Zinfandel. I'll have to check the price on that one. This Merlot generally sells for either $7.99 or $8.99 at either Trader Joe's or World Market. I would love to hear from out-of-staters about whether you can find this, and if you can buy it for anywhere near that price.
One of the things I enjoy about Merlot is its versatility. It's great to sip on its own, with appetizers (especially cheese and crackers), or with a simple meal. This Bogle is light and not too sweet, and has a variety and intensity of flavor. According to K & L Wine Merchants, "the deep cherry fruit hits both the nose and the palate upon the first sip, followed by soft hints of summer anise. Touches of pipe tobacco and spicy oak lend weight to the finish." So there you go: a nice variety and blend of tastes.
Let me know if you try this wine or if you have any favorites I should be reviewing. I'm keeping an eye out for some of your earlier suggestions and plan on posting a reader recommendation soon. Also, do you switch from red to white in the summer? We generally drink a lot more white in the summer than we do in the winter, but I still crave my glass of red wine, especially with pizza or pasta. Please leave your thoughts and suggestions in the Comments section. And click here if you want to check out previous installments of Wine Finds.