In the spirit* of the season, I thought I’d share wines from places where it actually gets cold. Like snowing and freezing and closing the roads cold. This week, I bring you a lovely Merlot from the Columbia Valley of Washington State, where it gets really cold. And windy.
In my extensive travels to the Pacific Northwest over the past several years, I drank several excellent wines from Hogue Vineyards, all very good. The Merlot and Pinto Grigio were my favorites, by far. The Merlot in particular is above average for an $8 wine. AND it’s a screw-top, so bonus points for that.
We begin with the fragrance of herbs and oak, and the first sip is fruity and juicy. You might be surprised by the slightly licorice taste accompanied by wonderful dark cherry flavors. (The cherries are no surprise given the quantity and size of orchards in the region.) You’ll also taste that lovely, smooth oak, a little pepper, and gentle tannins. It’s an all-around delicious wine.
I’m going to serve it with New York steaks and a big salad, but it would go great with pot roast or meat loaf. Just a delicious wine for comfort food.
Now for the audience participation portion of our program: which wines from really cold places to enjoy? Remember the rules. Wines below $12, available at your local grocer or liquor store, bonus points for boxes and screw-tops. If I can find your recommendation at the places I frequent, I’ll review it here!
* Spirit of the Season. Spirit! Get it? Ha! (Hi Mom!)