Lasso This Merlot: Red Diamond Wines Shine Brilliantly
Many of you feel dazed and confused when shopping for wine. Rows of seemingly identical bottles stretch along for miles, all sporting cryptic labels with meaningless verbiage. “What does this even mean?” you wonder as you scratch your head and do your best to translate with a limited vocabulary. It’s as though you’ve landed in a rural French village in 1862, equipped with only a week of high school French. You begin to perspire and panic like a straight man in the salon shoes section of Nordstrom. Is that $30 bottle worth the gamble? Maybe, maybe not.
It can be overwhelming, but it need not be intimidating any longer! Here is a wine you can zoom in on with laser wine vision, swoop in for the kill, and get out in time to finish the rest of your shopping. Whew!
This, my friends, is it. This is the quintessential red wine you will want to buy by the case, because it is incredible. Red Diamond Merlot from Washington is one of my personal all-time favorite wines. It happens to be one of the top ten Merlots in America. (PLEASE don’t go up in price, Red Diamond!). It is perfect on its own, but it is also wonderful in sangria, a Spanish punch made out of red wine. It’s dark and fruity, with perfect body and balance. Did I mention it’s less than $10?
From the tasting notes: “Our Washington Merlot opens with a beautifully knit blackberry, cherry, and spice scented nose with a toasty oak background. Sweet fruit on the palate is complemented by medium-bodied but firm tannins. Red Diamond celebrates the personality of Washington’s distinctive red wines. Layers of luscious flavors are revealed in each bottle, exuding style and confidence. Our Red Diamond Merlot is a shining example of Washington’s best varietal – a polished wine with softly spiced black cherry, berry and plum flavors.”
Don’t limit yourself to just the Merlot… they also make a Shiraz, Malbec, and Chardonnay! I can personally vouch for the Cab, it’s outstanding.
A rule of thumb: any wine you cook with must also taste good. It need not be expensive, but taste good it must! (Like Yoda I speak, expert therefore I be).
Here’s a recipe for Sangria I made recently for a Cinco de Mayo party (courtesy of Better Homes & Garden New Cookbook, 14th ed., with my comments). I recommend using Red Diamond Merlot, as it imparts a subtle cinnamon flavor to the sangria and blends well with the citrus juices.
1 cup orange juice (no pulp)
¼ cup lime juice
1 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine (Red Diamond Merlot)
¼ – 1/3 cup sugar
In a 2-quart pitcher stir together orange and lime juices. Add wine and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved (I like the sugar from Trader Joe’s). Cover and chill for 3 to 24 hours. Serve over ice.
I garnished mine with orange and lime slices, frozen cranberries and Golden Delicious apple chunks. This sangria is fantastic; it’s like winter mulled wine, but for spring.
I hope Red Diamond becomes one of your favorite go-to wines!
© Brenna Arnesen and The Rambling Vine, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brenna Arnesen and The Rambling Vine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.