Twelve and a half years ago, a movie called Sideways was released, and the wine industry has still not fully recovered from it. If you, like me, have been in the restaurant industry pre-Sideways, you’ll remember people coming into a restaurant or bar, sitting down, and without looking at the menu or the list, saying to their server, “I’ll have a glass of Merlot.” It didn’t matter who the producer was, where it came from or, frankly, what it tasted like. Then came Miles, the protagonist , who spoke out vociferously against the evils of the grape. Since then, things have shifted, but everyone added a few dollars to their tab by turning to their server without thinking and saying, “I’ll have a glass of Pinot Noir.”
Don’t get me wrong, Miles had his reasons: Merlot was notoriously produced in cartoonish amounts, of mediocre quality, and was able to maintain its standing in sales because of its name recognition as a varietal. This Saturday’s tasting is us reminding you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It turns out that anyone with a mind to can make uninspiring wine, but it also happens that there’s more than a little Merlot that you’ve bypassed in the name of Miles’ advice. This Saturday, Kevin opens up four such wines. The tasting is still ten dollars plus tax and gratuity, the wines are delish, and you’ll find some excellent finds here. The usual rules apply: make your reservation by phone, as web and email reservations won’t hold you a place at the tasting; and it all begins at 2:00 this Saturday, January 28th. We hope you’ll join us.
Don’t badmouth Merlot!
2014 Line 39 Merlot, California
2013 Broadside “Margarita Vineyard” Merlot, Paso Robles
200 Sant’Elena 2000 Merlot, Venezia Giulia IGT
2014 Emmolo Merlot, Napa