I mentioned the other day at Big Lots I took a risk and splurged $10 on a bottle of 2000 Napa Valley Tistrya Merlot. Forget that I’ve never heard of Tistrya and I’m not a huge fan of merlot. Forget that it’s $10 — at Big Lots. Forget that we have plenty of wine right now.
What made me forget all this was the beauty and weight of the bottle. Not the label which is a dated looking dark forest green marble–but the bottle itself which shaped and heavy like Twisted Oak’s The Spaniard but heavier than Chris Ringland’s Ebenezer shiraz.
This is a bottle of distinction. Someone cared enough for this wine to put it in a really really nice bottle–a merlot even!
While the majority of the wine at Big Lots is under $5 (and often not worth $5–save your receipt!), more expensive wines –and sometimes excellent values like last month’s Jamieson Canyon 2002 cab for $4–do show up. They rarely tempt me. It’s too risky. But this time I decided to risk it-this bottle was calling me, calling my name: “Wine Predator, Wine Predator!! Then whispering and moaning a little. I quickly grabbed the bottle and we left. I prayed I hadn’t just spent $10 on a wine for mulling (recipe up soon!)
Once home, I began searching out info on the wine: nothing nothing nothing NOTHING! The website listed on the bottle and above is MIA. I did find some info on a Tistrya cab and a $75 price which made me more optimistic about my purchase.
As soon as I mentioned the Tistrya here, I started having fellow Wine Predators turn up searching for info. I knew I wasn’t the only one curious about the wine, and I knew I needed to try this wine and soon–I had a responsibility here to my reading public: inquiring winos want to know!
Last night, we brought the Tistrya Merlot to dinner at friends. The impressive bottle did its job: Dave was definitely impressed and eagerly opened it up, letting it breathe while he gave us a tour of Bea’s new house. About 45 minutes later, he poured and with a little trepidation, I tasted. “This is really good!” said Dave. “I like this,” said the Big Monkey. “Wow,” I said, “I need to go get more of this!”
Fellow Wine Predators, rejoice! Here is the prognosis: Tistrya Merlot 2000 is DEFINITELY worth every penny of your $10!
Immediately go to Big Lots and buy some of this wine. It’s an impressive wine to bring to dinner or a party, and it’s plenty soft and mild, with pleasant fruit and nice garnet color, enjoyable without food, or with dinner–we had it with a roast, roasted vegetables, curry pumpkin soup, and rosemary bread.
Anything but merlot? Not at this price! Not for this wine!