Pairing Merlot

Eric Guido is back with a delicious pairing menu for Merlot


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South Africa

While not an example of classic Merlot flavors and textures, South Africa is proving yet again that it can turn out unique and truly exciting versions of Old World varietals. The wines are darker and haunting with a savory and dark earth profile. Did I mention that they are also amazing values? The more I taste from South Africa, the more I want to taste. Merlot appears to be yet another variety with which they can excel.

When tasting my first South African Merlot, I knew exactly what I wanted to pair with it, lamb. I paired this with a Moroccan Lamb Stew. The gamey flavors of the lamb were a perfect complement to this wine’s dark and savory profile. What’s more, the smooth and spicy characteristics of this dish excited the palate and added even more depth to the already layered Tokolosh. I can’t say this dish would go well with any Merlot, but it was the perfect combination for this beauty from South Africa. I highly recommend trying it.

2011 Tokolosh MerlotThe nose was dark and savory, showing tart raspberry, charred meat, coffee beans and herbs. On the palate, it was medium-bodied and juicy with sweet red and black berries, cinnamon and exotic spice. Tart berry fruits lingered on the lip-smacking finish that stayed fresh and easy-going through the close. (89 points)

Oh yeah, this was even better on the second day.
 

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Comments

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 968

    Eric
    On the filet mignon dish,does the amount of doneness of the meat factor in to determine which wine to drink? In other words, would a rare filet match up better to a certain wine as opposed to a medium or medium well filet?

    Oct 05, 2012 at 12:29 PM


  • Snooth User: cosmoscaf
    256062 54

    My wife and I are Merlot fans and enjoy a wide range of styles. We also like our red meat pretty rare. Speaking very generally, the big bodied Chateau St. Michelle Merlot does better with rare beef. Once it is cooked medium or more, something a little austere - such as a St Emilion Bordeaux - seems more appropriate if only because the flavors of well done meat are more subdued and a big, full wine can overwhelm it. But that is personal preference.

    Oct 05, 2012 at 1:10 PM


  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 143,568

    I tend to agree to Cosmoscaf. I like my meat medium-rare and it's how I plan most pairings. A heightened level of acidity can also help a well-done peice of steak. You need something to get your mouth watering. The Bordeaux recommendation is great.

    Oct 05, 2012 at 1:31 PM


  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 143,568

    As well as a Merlot of Northern Italy!!!

    Oct 05, 2012 at 1:31 PM


  • Cool climate merlots are elegant in general, and retain their acidity that make for lovely dining companions. Love them with nearly all food! I would bottle a Carneros merlot if it would SELL, but it's also magical in a blend. I find the cool-climate merlot's coco-y finish is pretty with seared/caramelized edges of meat and the minerality balances with meat juices beautifully. Too fruity wine is no match for a savory meal unless you're into red currant sauce on your duck. etc. I will try these recipes!

    Oct 05, 2012 at 2:46 PM


  • Snooth User: Kirsy Muñoz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    880543 1,786

    Thank you so much for all of the recommendations! I am planning on trying at least two of these parings tonight and tomorrow!

    Oct 05, 2012 at 7:40 PM


  • I really like Merlot, I'm used to the ones we make in Argentina, all do I have tried someones from California, in the matter of pairing, I agree mostly with the sugestions there are published in the article, but my favorite is pasta with bolognese, or similar, I have also tried with stew, roastbeef, lamb or pork, with great success.

    Dec 30, 2012 at 7:48 PM


  • Snooth User: messygonzo
    1327679 35

    You need something to get your mouth watering. The Bordeaux recommendation is great.

    Aug 02, 2013 at 6:03 AM


  • Snooth User: Mydietarea
    1328028 33

    I really like Merlot

    Aug 03, 2013 at 1:55 AM


  • Snooth User: jamchimps
    1385295 43

    Marvelous

    Oct 28, 2013 at 2:47 AM


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