Merlot and “Just One Thing” for Your Steak #MerlotMe

Merlot and Your Next Steak
The #MerlotMe wineries were very generous with their review samples, so here goes another fun dinner with one of my favorites from last year: Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot!

Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot and steak

“Just One Thing” Clickbait or Good Advice?
We’re bombarded on all forms of social media for “Just One Thing” clickbait. “Just One Thing” to avoid belly fat. To avoid getting old. To avoid cancer. To avoid sunburn. The list goes on. Well, this is my “just one thing” to take your steak to the next level, but I won’t drag you through hundreds of clicks to find the answer; it’s right here.

rosemary blue cheese butter topping for steak

The secret is out: rosemary/blue cheese/ butter

Top Your Steak With This Combo
The tenderloin cut as a steak from our local Sunshine Harvest Farms is my favorite steak, bar none.  It’s so tender and flavorful I’m happy with a healthy portion around 4 oz. I’ve tried various treatments and have always come back to simply prepping several hours in advance with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Today I decided to try a new combination: rosemary, blue cheese and butter. I’ve tried all three of these individually and never felt they truly made a difference. But steak plus all three plus a rich Merlot yields 1+3+1 = 10!

Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot

Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot, a friend to your steak

Duckhorn Winery

Since its inception in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has had a focus on producing and promoting high quality Merlot. Says cofounder Dan Duckhorn:

“I liked the softness, the seductiveness, the color,” says Dan, “the fact that it went with a lot of different foods; it wasn’t so bold, didn’t need to age so long, and it had this velvety texture to it. It seemed to me to be a wonderful wine to just enjoy. I became enchanted with Merlot.”

A spot check today shows 8 different single vineyard or regional Merlots available for sale on the Duckhorn website. That’s commitment!

Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2013 – ($54 SRP, online here)
Eye: Clear, deep ruby with a purple rim. Legs are stained purple
Nose: Clean, bright blackberries, ripe but not stewed. Medium+ intensity, obvious as soon as your nose is in the glass. Very pretty cinnamon and vanilla behind the fruit. Nicely done.
Mouth: Medium body, medium+ acidity, medium+ tannin. Flavors dominated by the fruit, medium+ finish. This wine will age nicely 5+ years, but very enjoyable right now. I’d have trouble waiting if I had more in my cellar!

Disclosure: I received this wine as a sample from Duckhorn as part of our collaboration with #MerlotMe. All opinions expressed are my own.

Duckhorn Merlot paired with steak, potatoes and roasted carrots

Rosemary Blue Cheese Butter for your Best Steak

A simple but perfect topping for your favorite steak. All measurements are very approximate, you’ll figure it out immediately.


  • 1/2 sprig of fresh rosemary leaves, very finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp creamy blue cheese – we love Northern Lights Blue
  • 3 Tbsp butter


  • Mix the ingredients by hand, kneading until everything is well integrated
  • Form into a ball, then wrap in wax paper
  • Roll into a cylinder approx. 1″ in diameter
  • Refrigerate until firmed up, about 1 hour.
  • Slice and top steak just before serving.

Local Suppliers

sunshine harvest farms tenderloin steak topped with rosemary blue cheese butter

2 Responses to “Merlot and “Just One Thing” for Your Steak #MerlotMe”
  1. Duckhorn has always been a wonderful choice for Merlot and one of my greatest memories was drinking the wines while we sat on cases of the wines in the back of a semi, before they had a tasting room.

  2. Duckhorn Merlot is a staple but that Rosemary BlueCheese Butter makes me want to cry! I have to make that! Thanks Jeff.

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