Not much going on wine-wise this past week, though Saturday I get to go to the first wine tasting of the new year. The theme will be "affordable French". Very much looking forward to that one.
Last Saturday I attended a dry wedding reception with my immediate family. We left a little early and Dad took us all out to dinner--Mom, my brother and his wife, and my date and me. Dinner was phenomenal, and Dad ordered a bottle of wine, the 2004 Rosemount Cabernet-Merlot. A decent wine, even if it needs some breathing. I used to drink a lot of Rosemount ten years ago, when a magnum of the above wine or a blend like Shiraz/Grenache or Chardonnay/Semillon could be had for $10. And I still think they're good wines for BBQs and very informal occasions (even though among bargain Aussie wines, Little Penguin is my favorite).
But if you've read my recent rant on restaurants, you'll understand my bristling at, in this case, a $8 wine being sold for $25. The important thing is that we had a great meal, a good time laughing and talking to one another, and the wine helped everyone enjoy a two-hour leisurely dinner properly.
Tonight I'm working my way through a bottle of the 2004 Tisdale Merlot. This is one of those $4 bottles by the register that I've been wanting to try just for the hell of it. Hell, I was going home to a delicious dinner of spaghetti and jarred sauce (part of a New Year's resolution to clean out the cupboards). No reason to break out the good stuff.
It's not a bad wine. I don't drink a lot of Merlot--not because of Sideways, but because I have gravitated towards more powerful flavors recently. There's not much of a nose, but it's got some good berry flavors. It avoids that slightly sweet, cherry Jolly Rancher flavor you can get from some California Merlots. And I suppose that the natural character of Merlot helps avoid that tannic, acidic edge that you can get from a cheap Cabernet Sauvignon.