Brian’s Wine Wednesday: The Velvet Devil

Velvet DevilI’m not usually a fan of low cost Merlot, but this little devil enticed me.

The Velvet Devil is a rich, fruit-forward red wine, with a nose of strawberry and tobacco. This is almost entirely Merlot (99%) with a little Cabernet (1%) added to it, and like most Charles Smith wines, they are developed for how people drink wine today: immediately.

A word about Charles Smith: this guy looks like a rock star, not a winemaker! He took a career in music, managing rock bands and concert tours in Europe, before falling in love with Walla Walla, Washington, and starting his own label from scratch, called House Wine. He eventually sold this label, and began Charles Smith Wines in 2006, which was soon recognized by Wine & Spirits magazine as one of the “Best New Wineries of the Last Ten Years,” and as “Winery of the Year” in their annual buying guide. In 2014, Wine Enthusiast also named him “Winemaker of the Year.”

Now back to the Velvet Devil. The flavors reminded me of Dr. Pepper, which is admittedly kind of weird for a red wine, but I really liked the smooth, soft dark fruit flavors, just a hint of licorice, and a surprisingly long smoky finish for a wine in this price range.

Another gem from Washington State, with a Merlot that drinks far above it’s $8.99 price tag at The Party Source!

3.5-corksOn my five-cork scale based on taste and value, I give the 2013 Velvet Devil Merlot 3.5 corks! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a wine  that tastes this good at this low price!

If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at The Party Source! I host a wine dinner there every month with sommelier and wine manager Steve Tartaglia, and we feature several interesting wines, paired with a delicious catered dinner from Kate’s Catering and Personal Chef Services. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!

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