A Wine Lover’s Weekly Guide To $10 Wine – A Kosher Merlot Signed France

Yes, you can still get a French Kosher wine for less than $10. But will it be worth your while? The Skalli family started in the wine business during the 1920s in Algeria. They relocated first to Corsica then to southern France in 1961, where they were among the first to produce single variety wines instead of blends. Their website lists and explains many aspects of Kosher wines, The Skallis make wine in the Languedoc region of southwestern France as well as in the Rhc;ne Valley, Provence, Corsica, and Napa Valley, California. In November, 2011 many but not all of their wine interests were bought by Boisset Family Estates. Our companion wine is also a Languedoc French Kosher Merlot, one costing about 50% more.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review have been purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Fortant Merlot 2006 13.5 % alcohol about $8.

We can start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note: Mid-deep youthful ruby color; stewed cherry fruit, red currants and light cedar aromas; fruity cherry flavors with a smooth, lightly tannic finish.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine’s acidity was quite present as were its tannins. I tasted some chocolate. I started with chicken soup with a Matzoh ball and carrots perked up by Louisiana hot sauce that moderated the libation’s acidity. The meal’s centerpiece was a no cheese ground beef lasagna made with spicy salsa that muted the wine without cutting off its chocolate or acidity. Fresh cherries for dessert increased the drink’s acidity, which initially seemed almost sour but subsequently sweetened.

My next meal featured barbecued beef ribs. The Merlot’s acidity cut the meat’s grease. It was plummy and refreshing, providing balanced tannins. When paired with green beans in tomato sauce, our Languedoc ami took on a metallic tinge. On the other hand, Basmati rice with brown lentils brought the taste of chocolate to the fore. Dousing the ribs with Louisiana hot sauce had virtually no effect on this liquid.

The final meal’s baked chicken leg in assorted Italian herbs brought out good, long fruit in the wine. This libation provided light acidity and tannins; in fact it was thin. Upon meeting roasted eggplant and mushrooms its acidity turned sour. When paired with fruit juice candy this southeastern France citizen came close to disappearing.

Final verdict. I won’t be buying this wine again. It is hard enough to produce an acceptable French non-Kosher wine at this price. And going Kosher can only add to its cost.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine with the right foods and people. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com.

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