Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wine Review: Merlot by Berenda Road

Seeking out the perfect but affordable wine is never an easy task.  The trail in the woods is never easy to find and seems to be covered in the leaves of many alternatives. Occasionally kicking up these leaves an opportunity to find one or two, which are worth trying, come around. Some are generic and offered in every cheap liquor store while others may be more specialized and home grown.  However, finding an affordable Merlot that does not make your mouth pucker is worth it-especially if it is under $12 a bottle.

In my life I have tried both expensive and cheap wine and have been pleasantly surprised by both. However, as the economy drags in its passive growth many might appreciated some advice on some everyday table wine. Berenda Road Merlot 13.8% Alc. has a fruity and wet taste with enough spice to make it interesting. It may take you a while to feel light headed but it still offers a reasonable taste for an over-the-counter price.

The Berenda Road wine was processed using grapes from Temecula Valley and was aged 14 months in small oak barrels before being bottled. The use of oak barrels is said to improve the sweetness of the wine through the unique oxidization process. Commercial wine will often be stored in such barrels from a year to two years to create a more vanilla flavor. American oak work best with red wines. 

Merlot is a medium dark wine made with dark berries. It is believed to come from an old French word meaning black bird. Such wines come from grapes that have high sugar content and low levels of acid. California wine has come of professional age since the 1980's and ranges from the more generic types to deep barrel curing. The depth and quality of the wine ranges with a general focus of price. Merlot by Berenda Road is no different.

Berenda Road Merlot comes is bottled at South Coast Winery in Temecula, California. The South Coast Winery and Spa creates an inviting atmosphere for visitors with a hotel, wine club, spa, and other amenities. The nightly price is around $180+ per night and is ranked four out of five stars by many visitors. You may find more information at

This wine appeared to be worth the price. It has a medium heaviness, a grape and spice body, and a little sweetness. There is just a touch of graininess. In general such a wine might work well on the dinner table or for a reasonable choice during the weekdays. It certainly isn't going to impress anyone unless you don't tell them about the price. It is an everyday wine with no thrills. 

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