Cellar No 8 Merlot

written by Julie Cohn

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I have collected several bottles of wine over the years, but am by no means a sommelier, so was hesitant to share my recommendations with you.  Recently, however, while chatting with my husband about A Little Bite of Life, he asked why I did not talk about wine.  My flipsy excuses did not seem to hold water for him, so he encouraged me to give it a try.  Here is my first recommendation for Cellar No 8 Merlot.

I learned about wine as an observer.  At my first real job after college, I had a boss (a Donald Trump wanna-be), with a $12 million wine collection.  As one of his management staff, I was encouraged to learn about fine wine.  One evening, during a management dinner, he pulled out a bottle of vintage 1945 Chateau Lafite Rothschild; it was the most incredible wine I ever tasted.  I later learned it was worth over $1100 a bottle!   At another dinner, he served a Port from the late 1800’s-half of it was sediment, but it was so smooth.   I was hooked.  I wanted to learn more about wine and collecting, so decided to take the Windows of the World Wine course in New York one summer and learned so much from the class. Since I traveled quite a bit during that time, I made an effort to visit fine wine shops in the cities I traveled to.  One of my favorites was a cute little wine shop, The Wine Merchant,  in Beverly Hills.  The gentleman who worked at The Wine Merchant was so kind–he answered every question, and gave me wonderful recommendations on wine-many under $15 a bottle.  Since then, wine and collecting has become an enjoyable hobby, and I try to keep up with the trends.

Want to start appreciate wine a bit more?  I recommend starting with the Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 25th Anniversary Edition (Sadly, the Windows of the World restaurant and course were destroyed on Sept 11th, as it was atop the World Trade Center).  Robert Parker also has some nice books on wine.  At the end of the day, however, all the books and magazines in the world are no substitute for personal taste–you have to go with what you like.  I will share with you what I like, and perhaps you can teach me a thing or two about what you like too.  Cheers!

My first wine recommendation is:Cellar No 8 Merlot, 2006, $8.99 *

This wine is a Sonoma County (CA) Merlot.
Cellar No 8 Merlot is aged in 100% oak barrels, giving it a medium bodied flavor, full of dark cherry, with a hint of spice.  Since this is a smooth wine, it can be paired with both beef, chicken, and pork dishes, as well as stronger fish (Salmon), pasta, and vegetable dishes. I would not, however, pair this with spicy dishes, particularly with pepper in it, as this can make the wine taste more acidic, and distract from the rich fruitiness of the wine.  Overall, it is a wonderful under $10 drinking wine.
To learn more about Cellar No 8 wines, and it’s fascinating history as part of Asti winery,  please visit their website.
{ Wine prices are approximate.  All opinions/observations are my own.  I have not been compensated either monetarily, nor with product from Cellar No 8.}

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