Got Me Some Merlot on the Brain…Wonder Why?

Some pasta and a bit of salad for dinner; bowtie with some quick marinara and a fast red leaf salad with carrots, red onions, avocado oil and mustard dressing. This kind of quick dinner reminds me of my childhood. Mom, whippin’ up something quick after work for the fam not wanting to dirty too many dishes. And with all this talk of merlot in my head I thought I would break out one of my California Wine Club offerings. Last month was Gainey; a producer that has been around since the eighties located in Santa Barbara County in an AVA within an AVA; the larger being the Santa Ynez Valley and the smaller being the Santa Rita Hills. It’s kinda cool because when my wife and I were out in California one of the first tasting rooms we stopped at was Gainey so it was a pleasant surprise to see it in the mail recently. So I thought I would make the above mentioned meal and pop a bottle of 2005 Central valley merlot.
I don’t know if it’s just because of all my merlot talk but this wine was really good. It had a beautiful dark reddish-purple hue and just clung to the inner walls of the glass as we swirled. My wife took one sip and her eyes widened. We were both a bit surprised (Yes, we too have been affected by the industrialization of American merlot. Well, at least in the “value” category). The nose was all plum and spice with a bit of coffee waiting to come out after a little oxygen had given it a push. The palate was really nice and smooth initially with a sweet viscous body that opened up into a silky and well-rounded wine. This wine was great. I don’t even really remember the meal. Actually I don’t know that I would eat with this merlot. I mean you could though and I would suggest something like duck if you’re into that sort of thing or some sort of savory, marinated chicken dish.
This is kind of a short post for me but I don’t know what else to say other than this wine was just great. I would love to have it again and I hope that it is available in NYC…let me check…stand by…alas it is not. Well, at least on wine-searcher it’s not. They have other wines from them but not the merlot. I am going to try and find it for the shop. I would love to offer this wine to someone who is a skeptical of merlot because of the current state of reluctance towards such a great grape and a wonderful (and potentially reborn) wine.


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