5 Merlots for International Merlot Day

November 6, 2019

In honor of International Merlot Day (November 7th), we’ve put together a list of our favorite Merlots. These wines are perfect for the cold weather and the upcoming holiday season.

2017 Sebastiani Merlot, Sonoma County

This fruit-forward wine has aromas of black cherry, plum, and a hint of herbal tea. On the mouth, there are notes of vanilla, raspberry jam, and cinnamon. Pair a Merlot like this with a dish like duck. Check out this Smoked Duck Breasts with Cherry Compote recipe.

2016 Roth Merlot, Sonoma County

Gold Medal, 92 Points – Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge

This Merlot is described as having aromas of dark fruits, dark chocolate, and hints of sweet spice. Black plum, violet, chocolate cream, and cardamom flavors will dance across your tongue as you sip this wine. This wine pairs beautifully with holiday turkey. While turkey can be somewhat dry, Roth’s juicy Merlot brings it back to life.

2016 Foley Johnson Handmade Merlot, Rutherford

You’ll notice enticing aromas of ripe plum, black cherry, and cocoa in this Merlot from Foley Johnson. On the palate, you’ll taste raspberry, red currant, dried herbs, and tobacco. This Merlot pairs magnificently with braised short ribs. Try cooking with Merlot instead of Cabernet in this Braised Short Ribs recipe to spice things up.

2016 Firestone Vineyard The Chairman Series Merlot, Santa Ynez Valley

A rich Merlot like this one from Firestone Vineyard pairs wonderfully with roast lamb or roast beef with simple spices and sauces. On the nose, you’ll get aromas of roasted plum, espresso, and hints of boysenberry. With flavors of red fruit, espresso, and a hint of tobacco, this wine is excellent for the cold weather season.

2017 Langtry Tephra Ridge Vineyard Merlot, Lake County

This elegant Merlot showcases flavors of blackberries, cherries, red currants, and mocha. It’s rich in flavor and tastes wonderful with dishes such as braised lamb or braised pork, but also pairs with simple, home-y meals like pasta with tomato sauce. Try this wine with lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs.


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