It’s still merlot month so here we go with more merlot – Novelty Hill Columbia Valley merlot


We admit it.  We don’t give merlot enough love throughout the year. 

Thus, we’re doubling down during October, International Merlot Month,

with another selection from this unsung, underrated wine variety.

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It’s Wine Thursday!, our weekly good-wine-at-a-good-price-

that-you-can-find recommendation.   

Before we get to the wine, we’re going to reference where the wine is from…

the state of Washington…and call out an optimal place to sample the wine…


 which would be Woodinville. 

If you’re interested in maximizing your wine tasting tour efficiency,

Woodinville is for you.

There are now over 130 tasting rooms and wineries jammed into this small town

located 30-45 minutes (depending on traffic) from Seattle. 

One of the Woodinville wineries is Januik/Novelty Hill,

producer of our Wine Thursday! recommendation. 

Of the two,  Novelty Hill is the “second label”. 

To use a sports analogy,  Januik is the varsity…Novelty Hill is the JV. 

But there’s nothing second-string about their Columbia Valley merlot.

With medium tannins and plum tones, it’s reminiscent

of the svelte, subtle merlots from Bordeaux,  rather than the thick

chocolate-laced merlots from California or Australia. 

It’s quite a contrast from last week’s featured wine,

the Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Hills merlot. 

Both merlots are uniquely appealing. 


One note:  we found the ’16 as well as the ’17  Novelty Hill vintages in stores and online. 

We tasted the ’16 vintage.  Both vintages received high marks by major wine publications. 


Total Wine lists this wine at $18.99 but they don’t say which vintage they’re selling.

QFC has the 2016 vintage for $19.99. 

You can get the ’16 through for $21.99.

I stumbled upon an online retailer called

that has the ’17 vintage for $22.99. 

Or you can go direct to the Januik/Novelty Hill winery where they’re selling it for 23 bucks.