Pick of the Week: Brotherhood Merlot 2009

March 2012
Originally published in the Finger Lakes Times as part of my internship with the NY Wine and Culinary Center

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Why it’s worth trying: The 2009 merlot from Brotherhood Winery is a delightful wine that lends itself nicely to a multi-course dinner, or is just as easily enjoyed on its own. This wine is barrel aged for at least six months, which contributes to both its complexity and depth.

Ruby red in color, this wine is full bodied and dry, yet soft on the palate. It is fruit forward, with a complex bouquet and deep flavors of plum and cherry mingling with hints of dark chocolate. Scents of oak and toasted spice tingle the senses, and it delivers a long, smooth finish in the throat.

Brotherhood Winery, located in Washingtonville, Orange County, was established in 1839 and prides itself on being America’s oldest winery. The grapes are grown on Greendale Farm in Hudson, where the soil type yields high quality fruit, and the nearby river creates a less harsh climate for the grapes to grow in.

Price: $16.99

Serving tips: In order to enjoy the smooth texture and full body of this particular merlot, it should be served slightly below room temperature (about 60 to 65 degrees).

Food pairing: This is a versatile wine that truly lends itself nicely to a variety of dishes. It pairs best with cheeses that are harder and milder in flavor such as Parmigiano-Reggiano and Provolone, and goes well with wild rice or mushrooms. Because this is a full-bodied wine, it can also stand up to steak or duck, and is delicious with poultry or grilled meats.

You might also want to try: Similar wines include a 2009 merlot from Glenora Wine Cellars, or a 2008 merlot from Eveningside Vineyards (Cambria, N.Y.).