Strawberry Meritage

Strawberry Meritage wine came about, from a bit of laziness and resourcefulness.
I had made my red wine (fall of 2008) and used a filter bag to hold the smashed grapes,stems and seeds. not having a press- I merely pulled the bag out of the fermentation bucket and dropped it into a clean bucket, bringing with it, a lot of juice and all that goodness not used up.

I bought a case of fresh strawberries, and that is when it occurred to me-
I dumped them all in and let it go to work.
the result was fantastic…

It drinks like a bold red wine, with a long fresh strawberry finish.

Meritage is pronounced Meh-rih-TIJ, rhyming with Heritage. This is a made-up word, registered as a US trademark, that wineries must pay to use on their wines.

Back in 1989, wineries were all choosing names for their various blended wines, and it was getting hard to keep track of them all. An association was formed to try to define a “Bordeaux Blend” of grapes that was done on non-French soil. They had over 6,000 people submit choices for the name of this blend, and “Meritage” won. This is a combination of the words “Merit” and “Heritage”, and shouldn’t be pronounced as if it were French!

What is in Meritage?
First off, this can’t be a mass-marketed wine. The release of Meritage must be under 25,000 cases. It has to be a “high-end” wine for the winery – it can’t be their bargain basement offering. And finally, it has to be a blend of certain grapes. These are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot. There is also a white Meritage, which is far less common. This uses Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle.

How does it Taste?
Just like Bordeaux, since it’s made with the same grapes!! There’s a rich, full aroma to it. Depending on the particular blend, it can be blackberry, black cherry, spices, chocolate, and vanilla. Most Meritages have the Bordeaux signature flavors – cigar box, rich fruits, with a hefty feel. It’s great with a steak, or with game meats – venison, pheasant, or so on!

Meritage should be served at 64F for the best flavor.

Published on February 2, 2010 at 11:44 AM  Leave a Comment  

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