Merlot Fights Back
As I've said before, the Sideways merlot bashing was an unfair swipe at a perfectly decent grape. Choose your wine well and merlot can be a delightful experinece. Swanson Vineyards isn't going to let people kick merlot around anymore. They are taking their merlot seminar on the road this spring to educate the trade and the media on a grape they say has been misunderstood and maligned. Their Merlot Fights Back website has information on why the wine is important including the fact that the ’61 Cheval Blanc Miles opened on his birthday in Sideways is a 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Merlot Fights Back seminar features two flights of merlot. One from 2002 merlots from around the world, and one on just merlots from Northern California. Lastly they offer a flight of Swanson barrel samples from 2004 that show off the differences between the various treatments of the grape. Swanson's 2002 Merlot sells for $32 for those of us not in a city where the seminar is being held.