Saturday, November 17, 2007

Vampire Merlot - Oh, The Horror

You can't blame me for trying it. After all, there it was, right before Halloween - Vampire Merlot. Better yet, it was an actual product of Transylvania! Plus, it cost less than five bucks. So who could blame me?

I figured it would be the perfect Halloween wine. And it was -- but it was a TRICK not a TREAT. This is how the company describes this wine...

"An intense dark plum bouquet typical of a very young wine is just starting to open up and reveal the full, true character of this wine. The wine's lively, dark purple color will destroy your carpet so be careful! Already the soft fruit flavors are starting to integrate well with the powerful structure of this wine, which marries soft tannins with vanilla hints of fine American oak. Made in the modern reductive style, this wine is perfect to enjoy now but has the structure to age for many years. A big wine, Vampire Merlot can take on the biggest char-grilled steaks and barbequed pork cutlets that you can throw at it, but it also has the fine elegance of this classic variety, allowing it to be served at parties with buffet foods and dips."

This is how I describe this wine -- "This merlot was to me what the blood of an anemic person would be to a Vampire... thin, sour, and unfulfilling." But what do you expect from a Transylvanian wine? There's a reason it's the home of ghouls, not grapes.

To be fair, the company Vampire Wines also has a California Merlot that I did not try. Their CA wines are from Paso Robles. The company has a whole line of Vampire branded wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, and even a White Zinfandel (for old lady Vampires?) I give them points for inventiveness (Dracula Syrah anyone?), but frankly, I'll leave this brand to the Children of the Night, and I'll stick with something a bit lighter to have with my stake and garlic. (And a glass of holy water on the side, please.)


Blogger knowlengr said...

I'd stake my reputation on this brand.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Hansie Scott said...

First, the aroma of a charred smokey potent plum met my nose. The taste reflected exactly what the nose was giving me, I was hoping for a little more. The mouth feel was a bit weak, watery with a slight smoothness ending with a touch of dryness not too uncommon in a Merlot.The aftertaste was nearly non-existent, leaving very little to remember about the Vampire Merlot.But it tastes excellent with some great Cuban Cigars.For me drinking this alone without any Cuban cigars is a straight no.

8:56 AM  
Blogger F. Cardella said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Ann, with regard to the Vampire Merlot: it's so weak, I doubt Buffy would even bother smashing the bottle. Then again, I tend to think little of most Merlots, so maybe I was just a little too happy to see (taste) this one's epic fail.

However, before you give up on Transylvania altogether, have you tried the Pinot Noir by V-drinks? The labels for all V products are simple, featuring a large letter "V," some underwritten with "The Legend of Transylvania," an obvious yet less desperate connection to Romania's most well known export than the logo used by the "Vampire" brand.

The wine itself is very easy to drink, almost too easy. :) I have fond memories of it; unfortunately, my primary wine stores don't carry it anymore. It's been over two years since I've had a bottle, but in the spirit of Halloween I'll resurrect a description from my notebook.

From 3/11/09: a mood lifter, the very dark red color--not just sitting in the glass but persisting through the swirl--inspires visions of richness and complexity. The taste is insanely smooth, with a soft attack and a great progression from almost juice-like sweetness thorough a tangy sweet-sour phase to dryness at the finish. For a $7 red, this is fantastic, and if I have a complaint it's that the aroma is disappointingly weak, almost stale. Still, this is worth buying in "on-hand" quantities, much like the Castellana Montepulciano D'Abruzzo. (This was a 2005 vintage.)

Give it a try if you can find it; this Transylvania treat will make up for the Vampire's trick.

10:51 PM  

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