It’s International Merlot Month – Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells 2017 merlot

Granted,  “International Merlot Month” is,  for the most part,  a wine version

of a Hallmark holiday  i.e., a holiday or event that is perceived to exist

primarily for commercial gain. 


Nevertheless, we contend that International Merlot Month serves a worthy purpose

reminding us that, yeah, that’s right, merlot can be pretty darn good.

Basic RGB

It’s Wine Thursday!,

our weekly good-wine-at-a-good-price-that-you-can-find recommendation. 

To commemorate International Merlot Month, we’re shining a light

on a type of wine that normally doesn’t get a lot of love…at least not here in the U.S.



Screen Shot 2020-10-08 at 1.55.43 PM

courtesy #merlotme


It’s been a roller coaster ride for merlot in the US. 

20 years ago, it was wildly popular and reigned supreme. 

Unfortunately,  winemakers, especially those in California,  responded to that popularity

by stepping up quantity with little regard to quality.  They produced massive amounts

of inferior versions of merlot.  

Wrong move.  Consumers soured on merlot.  Sales tanked.  The merlot brand suffered.

20 years later,  merlot is making a modest comeback but still

has yet to reclaim its glory days status.   

The good news for us:  the decades-long slump has kept prices in check. 

There are some terrific merlot buys currently available. 

One of the best is Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 2017 Indian Hills. 

This is impressive stuff…medium-plus to full body…chocolate and dark berry flavors…

just enough tannin and acid to keep things interesting.   

A pleasant surprise…while it was immediately enjoyable right out of the bottle,

it was even smoother the next day.  Most of the sweetness from day one had dissipated.   

Bottom line, this is a very easy drinker. 


We found Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Indian Hills merlot at Fred Meyer for $13.99. 

QFC carries is for $15.99.  It’s at Safeway for $16.09. normally sells it for $17.99 though they say they are temporarily out of stock.

 And you can order it from the winery for $20.


And during the rest of October, make sure you contribute your own

merlot musings (and pictures) to #merlotme.