Top 10 Merlots Under $10
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Top 10 Merlots Under $10

Merlot (Mare-lo)

Many of these wines can be located at your local wine store, grocery store, or ordered from the winery.  Taking a quick trip to the Sonoma/Napa Valley region of California you can visit several of these wineries on your trip. Many of the websites offer directions to the tasting rooms.

Merlot,a thin-skinned varietal ripens early in the season and boasts a friendly, often mellow and diplomatic approach for a distinctly red wine. This grape is frequently used in blended wines to soften say a tough Cabernet Sauvignon, but has enjoyed renewed fame as its own grape and as such has garnered more sacred shelf space in recent years.

Merlot is one of the classic Bordeaux wines, often used to blend with Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot has cassis, blackberry, plum and black cherry aromas and flavors with hints of chocolate and sometimes leather. Sonoma Merlots generally have a medium body with dark juicy fruit, smooth, soft tannins and some complexity. Merlot, while similar in flavor to Cabernet Sauvignon, usually is less tannic and astringent and, therefore, is easier to drink at a relatively young age. This attribute made Merlot popular in the United States in the early to mid '90s. A variety of foods pairs well with Merlot.

Because Merlot is medium-bodied, it pairs easily with medium-weight foods: Veal, meat loaf, Italian-style sausages, lamb or beef stews, roast lamb, duck with fruit sauce, fish like salmon and tuna, and dishes with mushrooms and berries are good matches. Hearty pasta dishes and pizza also pair well. For cheeses, try Parmesan, Gouda, cheddar, Monterey Jack or smoked provolone. Merlot wine is quite versatile when it comes to food pairings. It goes well with a variety of foods such as poultry, red meats, pork, salads and grilled steak. It also complements several cheeses and tomato-based pasta sauces.

1. Covey Run Merlot 2001 (WA) $9

http://www.coveyrun.com/home.asp?month=10&day=31&year=1967

2. Bogle Merlot 2003 (CA) $9

Mahttp://www.boglewinery.com/index2.htmnufacturer's Site

3. Hogue Merlot (WA) $10

http://www.hoguecellars.com/index.php

4. Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot 2002 (CA) $10

http://www.kj.com/

5. Lindeman's Reserve Merlot 2002 (Australia) $9

http://www.lindemans.com/usa/

6. Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot 2001 (WA) $8

http://www.columbia-crest.com/

7. Fetzer Valley Oaks Merlot 203 (CA) $10

http://www.fetzer.com/age_screener.aspx?url=%2fDefault.aspx

8. Blackstone Merlot 2001 (CA) $9

http://www.blackstonewinery.com/

9. Chateu St. Michelle Columbia Valley Merlot (WA) $10

http://www.ste-michelle.com/

10. Concha y Toro Xplorador Merlot 2004 (Chile) $8

http://www.conchaytorousa.com/wines/xplorador.html

This list of wines has been created using various sources from the Internet.  Some wines have been tasted by this writer others are recommendations from research.

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