Wine Wednesday: Honoro Vera Merlot

Honoro Vera Merlot

John Garland // Growler Magazine

Rosé certainly is having a moment. The formerly maligned pink wine is shedding comparisons to white zinfandel and staking its claim as the versatile sip at your summer picnic table.

But there are still those red wine drinkers that won’t budge – not even down to rosé. Even in the height of summer, when most people would drink a pint of motor oil as soon as a California cabernet, they remain staunch in their tannins and jammy currant flavors and 16% alcohol.

So how to appease them when they come over for dinner? What reds can be enjoyed in the heat? Sure you could always make sangria (or perhaps an Old Spanish?) And not that sangria isn’t great, because it is (and we’ll return to this subject on a future Wine Wednesday), but there’s an easier way to drink chilled red wine: Chill the bottle.

I’m not talking an ice bucket for an hour, more like the fridge for 30-40 minutes. Red wines should be served at cellar temperature anyway (around 55 degrees). Only the heaviest and thickest of Barolo, Barossa or Napa should be served at room temp.

And there will come a summer day where you’re grilling lamb, or have the urge to pair wine with sausages, and you’ll need an easy-going red for people to enjoy. Gamay from Beaujolais or the Loire would work, or Barbera from Italy, even Zweigelt or Blaufrankish from Austria would be fine wild cards.

Or might I suggest this little gem I keep seeing in stores around town? The Honoro Vera Merlot (~$9) is a ton of wine for the price. Fruity and present, bursting with ripe fruit, it’s light enough on the tongue (even at %15 alcohol) with just enough tannin creeping up on the finish to keep the wine in balance. And yes, it would also be terrific in sangria.

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.

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