Hello wine lovers and happy wine Wednesday!  I hope your week is off to a great start.

My ‘Master of Champagne’ class is moving along at a fast pace with useful, informative and interesting webinars.  Yesterdays presenter was Essi Avellan, MW who is Finland’s first Master of Wine.  She was coming to us live from Helsinki – very cool.  And, speaking of champagne, it seems to be popping up everywhere. (pun intended) On Monday nights NCIS LA episode, characters G. Callen and Sam Hanna have a beer vs. champagne debate whilst on a stake out.  Hanna (played by LL Cool J) gets the final throw down, “Dom Pérignon Rosé?  Best bubbles in the world, baby.” It left Callen speechless while I did a little dance!

On to my wine review of the week…

I went searching for a good, B.C. red wine and went to Edgemont Village Wines to investigate.  If you are in the North Vancouver area – do stop by this store…excellent service and savvy staff who do well with their recommendations.  I selected a bottle of Quails’ Gate Merlot.  I must admit that it has been quite some time since I have purposefully reached for a Merlot and shame on me…


In the glass, Quails’ Gate Merlot is medium ruby in colour and on the nose there are beautiful aromas of plum, cigar box, mocha, vanilla, a whiff of nutmeg, and crushed red cherries…divine.  On the palate, a bit more of the tobacco and cigar box come through harmoniously with flavours of bright plum and red berries with a hint of blackberry. This Merlot has a nice, lingering finish with medium acidity and soft, velvety tannins that are well-integrated making for a voluptuous wine.

This wine is quite lovely and I have enjoyed drinking it on its own as well as pairing it with grilled meats.  I would love to try it with lamb glazed in a black cherry sauce or pairing it with salmon as it is gentle but firm enough.  I am getting hungry just writing this!

As an aside, is it just me or has Merlot gone off the radar?  I feel that it has been put on the back shelf by the hugely popular Malbec following in the same way Chardonnay went into hiding after the Pinot Grigio boom..I am here to suggest we need to and must revisit the ‘superhero’ grapes that are noble and worthy of our attention.

I love it when I find another ‘go-to’ wine and this is my Merlot pick…it is a solid ‘Hell Yes’.  It retails for $24.99 and tastes like much more.  Delicious and easy to drink, Quails’ Gate Merlot is an excellent hostess wine to bring and impress or savour yourself – you deserve it!

That is it for me this week.