A Beach BBQ and Mellow #MerlotMe Magic

Around here, October means #MerlotMe — a month set aside to celebrate the Mellow Magic that Merlot offers. In fact, we’ve been celebrating #MerlotMe now for three years: #MerlotMe in 2016 here and here, and here; #MerlotMe in 2017 here, and here, and here, and now in 2018.

And since September was California Wine Month, and today is the first day of #MerlotMe, it seemed appropriate to post today about California Merlot!

Recently, friends and I took three bottles of #MerlotMe magic from Napa and Sonoma to the beach along the Rincon just north  of Ventura and South of Santa Barbara to celebrate Merlot, the changing of the seasons, and life. Rosel and Rasika are performing with me at the Lobero Theater on Sat. Oct. 6 so we were playing around some with costumes and sound: Rosel will be playing a gutbucket or washtub stand up bass while Rasika and I are doing a “call and response”type piece.

All three wines worked well: Mellow Merlots that go perfectly when having a gathering  with great friends on the beach during a lovely warm fall evening.


  • Grilled Corn
  • Green Salad with home grown tomatoes
  • Charcuterie
  • Triptip


2016 – Decoy – Sonoma County Merlot – 13.9% alcohol – $25
sample for my review consideration– thank you!
97% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon

Color: Rich ruby red with, hints of purple, or violet around the rim

Nose: Rich and pleasurable, eucplylus, vanilla, cooking spices, cherry, cherry cobbler

Palate: Bright and acidic, nice spice and long lingering mineral finish that leaves the most  salivating for a bit more. Lots of nice spice, bright fruit. This is a young wine, but very enjoyable. If you can lay it down do so for a while, this wine should age nicely.

2015 – Flora Springs – Napa Valley Merlot – 14.2% alcohol – $30
sample provided for my review consideration– thank you
4500 cases produced.

Color: Dense, a little muddy looking, coral ring, maybe even salmon

Nose: Menthol, the alcohol does come through on the nose in a bordeaux glass, fresh tart cherry, cherry cough drop with menthol, tart cherry, not sweet cherry, bit of tobacco. This wine opens up nicely after hanging out in the glass for a while

Palate: Rich tannins with present oak, the cherry on the nose turns to pomegranate on across the palate

2014 – Charles Krug – Merlot – Napa Valley – 14.2% alcohol – $25
Sample provided for my review consideration: thank you!
82% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec

More of a Bordeaux blend than the others

Color: Dense and rich, pink sapphire on the rim crayola crayon maroon,

Nose: Rich earthiness, dirt, earthy loam, ripe plum, fresh violet, little bit of clove and cinnamon spice. It has a very interesting spice.

Palate: This is a very rich smooth wine. Very silky and nice on the palate. Nice lengthy mineral finish. less fruit on the palate than on the nose.

So are YOU a merlot fan? If so stayed tuned for more #MerlotMe posts! Once again the Wine Pairing weekend crew will focus on Merlot this month. Check out our twitter chat on Saturday Oct. 13 from 8-9am Pacific, and check back here for links to participants’ posts!

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