Merlot: It's all in the micro-climates
Merlot from Washington's Columbia Valley. (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune / November 30, 2009)
Serve Columbia Valley merlot with grilled wild salmon, prime rib, roast duck, grilled New York strip steaks, roast beef.
2007 Cadaretta Merlot: A dark cherry color, with notes of chocolate and black cherry on the nose. Medium-bodied, with a deep cherry flavor, there's mouthwatering acidity and a nice tannic snap on the end. Good structure. Serve with roast leg of lamb, grilled steak. ✭✭✭ $35
2007 Seven Hills Merlot: The wine sports a plummy cherry color with a dash of cinnamon overlaying the fruit fragrance. Black cherry on the palate with touches of cocoa. Velvety mouthfeel. Serve with Chinese duck, roast pork loin with cherry glaze. ✭✭✭ $28
2006 Columbia Crest Reserve Merlot: A bright, cheerful wine with its berry flavor plushed with notes of cherry and black pepper. Very smooth. Serve with roast chicken, pate, macaroni and cheese. ✭✭ $24
You want that wine. But your store or area distributor may not choose to carry it. State law may prohibit you from ordering a wine online. What to do? Ask your wine retailer for a wine similar in flavor, style and price. Remember, too, prices vary.
By the numbers
11.4 million: Number of acres in the Columbia Valley AVA
36,400: Number of Columbia Valley acres in Washington planted with wine grapes
1984: Year the Columbia Valley AVA was created
8: Number of sub AVAs within Columbia Valley (see map).
Sources: USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service; Washington State Department of Agriculture Crop Mapping Services
Disclaimer: Clicking on the green links will direct you to a third-party Web site. Bloggers and staff writers are in no way affiliated with these links that are placed by an e-commerce specialist only after stories and posts have been published.