Lest anyone think that I like everything I drink, or even worse, every wine I choose is a good one, I submit to you the following experience.
I'm wandering around my local Good Life Grocery. They've got a wine buyer who sometimes gets interesting things in. I notice a unique bottle of Merlot with a nice label and an interesting form factor (more like a bottle of balsamic vinegar than wine). It also happens to be a '96 Merlot, which you don't nomally see lying around in grocery stores that often. So, of course, I bring the Mystal home, and have it with some cornmeal crust pizza with four cheeses and salami.
Right out of the bottle the wine has a good color, moving towards the brick red you'd expect of an older wine, and in the glass it has a nose of cedar and pine with some hints of oregano. Mellow tannins and oak in the mouth, these were probably very intense when it was first bottled. The wine is really trying to have fruit flavors of cherry and plum, but they struggle to make themselves known, like a light struggling to shine through a distant haze -- they don't resolve well. Even though the wine is only 13% alchocol, there is a sharp finish on the wine that is somewhat stringent. Overall, this wine is better than some $7 wines I've drunk but not worth buying.
Anything to distract you from the mediocreflavor. How about Red Hots and Garlic bread ?
Overall score: 3.5/4
How much: $6.99
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
The Superb Grace of Old Vines: Drinking Janasse The Zinfandel Experience: January 31, San Francisco Vinography Unboxed: Week of January 4, 2015 Vinography Images: The Colors of a New Season Vinography Unboxed: Week of December 27th, 2014 Vinography Images: Rich Skies Losing a Legend in Serge Hochar Flirting with the Ecstatic: The Wines of Nikolaihof, Austria Vinography Unboxed: Week of December 20, 2014 A Grape By Any Other Name
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune