by Fred McMillin
for June 29, 1999


Serve Lamb, Ma'am


Well, there is one sin for which a lot of
cooks and hostesses are some day going to have to atone,
Which is that they can't bear to cook anything
and leave it alone.
No, they see food as something to base a lot
of beautiful dreams and romance on,
Which explains lamb chops with pink and blue
pants on.

...Ogden Nash's Food, Workman Publishing

I made our 1995 Harvest Reserve Merlot in a soft and supple style that will complement elegant lamb dishes.

...Mirassou Winemaker Tom Stutz

The Rest of the Story

Mirassou Chef de Cuisine David Page agrees with Tom. He pairs this Merlot with Roast Saddle of Lamb Stuffed with Moroccan Spices, Sweet Onions and Currents.

Chef Mary Evely in the Vintner's Table Cookbook recommends matching the strong flavors of lamb with Merlot, too. Her dish is Rack of Lamb with Shallot Marmalade (p. 148).

Mirassou Vineyards Alright, let's serve lamb. Now to the wine. In the 1980s, Mirassou blended its Merlot into other reds. By 1990 they felt it was good enough to go it alone, so they bottled their first Mirassou Merlot (see label). It proved to be so successful, that two years later Tom segregated the top lots, and blended the first RESERVE Merlot, the 1992...very rich, full-bodied, more complex. My panel just tasted the '95...

Wine of the Day

1995 Harvest Reserve Merlot, Monterey County
Mirassou Vineyards, San Jose, CA
Panel Comments—"Full," "rich," "minty," "best red."
Rating—Best Merlot under $20 tasted this year. EXCELLENT. Contact—Office of Dave Muret, (408) 274-4001, FAX (408) 270-5881
Price—$18 range


Merlot mania continues. 1998 supermarket wine sales show the biggest percent increase for the year was the 34% jump in MERLOT!

Statistics—Gladys Horiuchi of the Wine Institute, (415) 356-7525, FAX (415) 442-0742;
Tasting notes—Edgar Vogt;
Research—Diane Bulzomi

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


WineDay Annex

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Fred McMillin


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