For International Merlot Day, it’s the Battle of the $12 Merlots!

If you’re of drinking age

(and why would you on this website if you’re not?)

you’re old enough to remember the movie “Sideways”.

You’ll probably also recall how a couple of lines

blurted out by Paul Giamatti’s character

wreaked havoc on the merlot industry for a long time.

But that was 15 years ago. 

Thankfully,  merlot…and wine drinkers… have moved on.




It’s ironic that merlot

 has had to work hard (at least here in the US)

to salvage its sullied reputation. 


It is, after all, one of the main ingredients

in one of the world’s most prized reds…

the legendary…and often breathtakingly expensive…

Bordeaux blend. 

Basic RGB


For Wine Thursday! 

our weekly good-wine-at-a-good-price

that-you-can-find recommendation,

we’re highlighting two quite inexpensive merlots. 


OK, so they’re not from Bordeaux.

But you don’t have to take out a second mortgage

to buy them either.



In honor of International Merlot Day,

I thought we would land on one merlot.

This one…the H3 from Columbia Crest.


It delivers all you could ask from a sub-$12 merlot. 

With prominent fruit flavors and low acidity,

it’s absolutely user friendly.  




But when we blind-tasted

another similarly-priced merlot, we were torn.

Charles Smith’s Velvet Devil also impressed our team.

When first opened, the Devil came out strong…and a little too sweet. 

But within a few minutes, it resolved,

showing the smooth, dark fruit flavors

typical of warm-weather merlots. 

BTW, both the H3 and the Velvet Devil hail from Eastern Washington.



Thus, the Pat The Wine Guy tasting team

is going to take a stand!

We’re going to firmly waffle…

and recommend both. 


Both are pleasant reds.  Both are great for the money. 

Speaking of money, here’s what you’ll pay for each merlot. 


You’ll find the Columbia Crest H3 2016 merlot

at Safeway for $10.49

and at Fred Meyer for $11.99

and at QFC for $12.99. 


 The Charles Smith 2016 Velvet Devil

is at Whole Foods and Fred Meyer for $11.99

at QFC for $12.99

and at Safeway for $13.99.