While the Cat’s Away the Mouse will Play #MerlotMe

Grilled lamb chops, potatoes and arugula salad

The forbidden fruit: lamb chops. Oh, and the disliked fruit: arugula!

Cat’s Away, Mouse Will Play
It’s not what you think! Julie is away for the week on a women’s business school reunion trip to Chile. Does this mean shenanigans back at home? No, but it does mean a week of enjoying forbidden foods: lamb, rabbit, eggplant, more lamb, go!

Julie took off on Thursday afternoon; no time to waste, I started working off my list of dinners. 1st up: Lamb Chops! It’s October, which means it’s #MerlotMe time and I have some Merlots to put through their paces. Julie likes Merlot, but she did decide to go on vacation! (click on any photo to see full size slide show, “escape” to return)

Decoy Sonoma County Wines
Decoy is second label from Duckhorn Wines aimed at a more accessible price point. For the Merlot, the grapes come from Sonoma County, where they are picked at a bit lower sugar level, with just a bit less new oak as compared to the flagship Duckhorn wines. At the dinner table, they are still smooth and plush, perhaps just a bit less showy. You’d be happy with this wine on a weeknight with burgers, meatloaf or lamb chops! The grapes in the blend include 88% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc.

Decoy Sonoma County Merlot

Decoy Sonoma County Merlot is Duckhorn’s “everday” Merlot, it may be your favorite!

Decoy Sonoma County Merlot 2015 (winery sample, $25 SRP)
Eye: Clear, medium ruby with a purple edge. Medium staining on the legs and glass
Nose: Clean, medium+ intensity. Ripe blueberries with a bit of herbal character in the background. Not obviously oaky, there’s vanilla lurking in there, but not in your face.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ body, medium- acidity, medium- tannins. Smooth and enjoyable with and without food. Blue fruit with a soft overall impression ending in a medium finish. An enjoyable American Merlot, perfect for your guests who prefer a smooth drinking wine.

Decoy Merlot with grilled lamb chops

Decoy Merlot and Grilled Lamb Chops; perfect any night of the week!

Decoy Merlot with Grilled Lamb Chops
I love lamb chops, and I don’t want to lose the flavor of the lamb. I’ve tried many types of coatings and rubs, and too often they overpower or cover up the flavor of the lamb. Today, the Primo Grills Lamb Kleftiko rub earned a big thumbs up. It successfully walked the line between adding nice flavor without taking over. While the herb mix isn’t detailed out, the aroma reminded me of some poultry rubs featuring sage in the ingredients. Similarly, the Decoy Merlot was a nice companion to the dish. Rich and smooth, the fruit and oak didn’t overpower the flavors in the food. All in all, a very nice combination.

Disclosure: The Primo Kleftiko Lamb Rub and the Decoy Merlot were provided as samples. All opinions are my own.

#MerlotMe means Decoy Merlot and lamb chops at www.foodwineclick.com

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Comments
6 Responses to “While the Cat’s Away the Mouse will Play #MerlotMe”
  1. Laura Capaldini says:

    Can you come cook this at my house?? I love lamb and rarely make it. Looked fabulous!

  2. As soon as I saw the lamb I knew your lovely wife must be out of town! Great pairing. We enjoyed the simplicity of the Decoy with a weeknight meal as well.

  3. Nancy says:

    We need to have a get together at our place when Julie leaves next time. We love lamb chops and Merlot

    • I would be in so much trouble for meeting up with you and Joe without Julie. She might even tolerate her food being cooked next to the lamb if it would involve an evening with such good company!

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