A Love Affair with Merlot and the Grill #MerlotMe #WinePW
Second Annual Meeting of Wine Pairing Weekend and #MerlotMe
Our Wine Pairing Weekend group had a ball last year helping the #MerlotMe group of wineries in their October month-long celebration of the under-appreciated Merlot grape. We were tickled to be invited to join again in the October #MerlotMe celebration 2016!
Love Merlot and the Grill
I love to cook on the grill all summer long, well into the fall and even in the winter. Merlot (especially American) with its medium body and abundant fruit pairs beautifully with the big flavors and sauces often found in outdoor cooking. A match made in the fires of the grill!
Cliff Creek Cellars Winery and Sam’s Vineyard
Most people think of the Willamette Valley when they think of Oregon wine, but it’s not the only place grapes are grown and wines are made. Cliff Creek Cellars is located in the Rogue Valley in Southwest Oregon. It’s warmer there, so the typical grapes include Rhone and Bordeaux varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Cliff Creek Cellars’ estate vineyard is Sam’s Vineyard. Here’s their description:
“We planted our first vines in 1999 and now have approximately 70 acres in vineyard. Our vineyard lies with a southwestern exposure at 1400 ft. elevation. One of the unique attributes of our soil is a strain of Crater Lake volcanic ash running through the entire vineyard. Soil is the heart of the vineyard and we think this adds to the unique quality of our wines.”
Cliff Creek Cellars Sams Valley Vineyard Merlot 2012 (SRP $25)
Eye: Clear, medium+ intensity. Ruby color with a pretty purple edge
Nose: Clean, evergreen & herbs in front, red fruit behind.
Mouth: Medium body, medium intensity, medium+ acidity, medium+ tannins. Surprisingly structured and tannic for Merlot. Very nice but you wouldn’t call it plush. Still this Merlot would be enjoyable on its own.
The Cliff Creek Cellars Merlot was a real treat and a bit of a surprise. It walks that fine line between appealing to a more traditional palette and offering plenty of fruit for those who prefer an internationally styled wine. Well done! It paired beautifully with the steak and especially well with the roasted acorn squash, which held just a touch of sweetness.
Our Talented Bloggers Share Their #MerlotMe Ideas
Need some food pairing ideas for that bottle of Merlot you brought home? Here are fourteen great suggestions! If you see this early enough, join our Twitter chat Saturday Oct. 8 at 10:00am CDT at #WinePW and #MerlotMe. Continue watching our blogs in October, as there are sure to be more Merlot posts!
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Merlot Shows Its Versatility and Goes +1 With Cheese, Meat, and Chocolate”
Amy from Cooking with Amy shares “Mushroom Parmigiano Pasta Recipe”
David from Cooking Chat shares “Garlic Thyme Crusted Tuna Paired with a Merlot”
Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “#MerlotMe Trifecta for #WinePW”
Michelle from Rockin Red Blog shares “Welcoming Fall with #MerlotMe and #WinePW”
Jennifer from Vino Travels – An Italian Wine Blog shares “#MerlotMe with Sausage Baked Ziti”
Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere shares “Exploring Merlot Wine Pairing with Bolognese Sauce”
Lori from Dracaena Wines shares “Hello, Can you #MerlotMe?”
Jill from L’Occasion shares “Evenings with Merlot”
Lauren from The Swirling Dervish shares “Mercy Monday and Merlot”
Gwen from Wine Predator shares “#MerlotMe with savory simple fall foods”
Jade from Tasting Pour shares “Chipotle Chicken Stew and Merlot”
Cindy from Grape Experiences shares “Wine and Dine: Merlot with Eggplant and Polenta Parmigiana”
Jeff from FoodWineClick! shares “A Love Affair with Merlot and the Grill”
A roulade preparation is a basic technique. Once you have tried one, you’ll be on your way to creating all sorts of variations. You can use pork, beef, or even chicken (boneless breast), and the fillings are limited only by your imagination. Ingredients Instructions
Reverse Seared Flank Steak Roulade
A roulade preparation is a basic technique. Once you have tried one, you’ll be on your way to creating all sorts of variations. You can use pork, beef, or even chicken (boneless breast), and the fillings are limited only by your imagination.
Disclosure: I received this wine as a sample from Cliff Creek Cellars as part of our collaboration with #MerlotMe. My thanks to all the producers who provided wines, watch for more Merlot posts this month! All opinions expressed are my own.