Friday, April 18, 2014

A fresh look at Merlot

It has been 10 years since the movie "Sideways" made Merlot a laughingstock with the snobby character Miles's angry remark about "#$%&ing Merlot," a laugh line that actually drove down Merlot sales in the U.S. while starting a mini-boom for the Pinot Noir upon which the script lavished praise.

Of course, Merlot is what it is. Most wine geeks aren't going to have our tastes affected by a funny line in a movie; and that includes the screen writers and directors, who had the same character later going gaga over Chateau Cheval Blanc, a Right Bank Bordeaux that's predominantly Merlot and Cab Franc, another variety that he disdained.

So for this month's Wine Focus in our online WineLovers Discussion Group, we're seeking to give this much abused grape a second chance.

Read my full 30 Second Wine Advisor column on