After my bottle of Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Charles Smith Wines, which my wife drank 95% of and asked for it again, I wanted to try a different selection. I am a big fan of affordable and enjoyable wines, and the 2009 The Velvet Devil Merlot fits that bill with a retail price of $12-$13.
Let me start of by saying that if you are turned off from drinking Merlots after watching the 2004 movie “Sideways”, then let me shed some light. There was a reason that Miles didn’t like Merlot and it wasn’t because of the taste. In the book, his ex-wife loved Merlot and to see somebody else drink the wine was excruciatingly painful for Miles. It was the most viewed movie trailer for the movie and not surprisingly, Merlot wine sales went down dramatically.
I also think that Merlot has suffered from mediocre offerings from wineries in order to get something on the shelf, allowing them to concentrate on Cabernets or other signature wines. Other varietals may also have better food pairings options, but Merlot is a great wine if done right. Charles Smith’s Velvet Devil has risen from the Merlot varietals ashes and is a great drink. Here are the tasting notes from the winery.
The Velvet Devil was very smooth and a joy to drink. I will offer a small tidbit of advice with this bottle. Open it, and let it breath for about 5 to 10 minutes before drinking it. Once the wine has gotten some air it will be very nice to drink. My wife who doesn’t enjoy Merlot at all was skeptical when she took a drink, and the first words that came out of her mouth were, “hmmm smooth”. She is a tough nut to crack and the devil did it. This is a pleasant drinking wine made for an enjoyable evening when you want a glass with or without food.