Kenwood * Sonoma County Merlot * 2012

“Bottle o’ White, Bottle o’ Red…”

 “…Perhaps a bottle of rose’ instead.” I fell in love FullSizeRenderwith Billy Joel back when his head still had hair and my chest did not. Saturday night was my third time seeing him live, and its something I’d been looking forward to for several months, ever since my friend of nearly twenty years, Sky, had called to tell me he bought tickets.
 
The best thing about this wine: Value
Available at: Countless sports bars and other establishments of ill repute.         
By the bottle: $8-10 (.375)                                   
By the glass: $4-7
Pairs well with: Billy Joel and good company. 

Winery Web Page: Kenwoodvineyards.com

 We met in the Haymarket, an area of Lincoln that has exploded in growth since I moved to Omaha three years ago, and could barely find a seat anywhere. We finally pulled up to the only two seats at the bar in Brewsky’s, a sports bar we used to frequent, and ordered our usual beer and wings. When it came time to leave for the concert, I asked the bartender, who by then had become our friend, if he’d do me a favor and pour us a taste of red and white wine, and leave the bottles. He said he couldn’t vouch for the quality of the wine, but obliged us all the same. I snapped my picture, we tasted the wines, and we were on our way. 

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Out of kindness to the fine folks at Kenwood, I’ll only remark upon the quality of the 2012 Merlot. In all honesty, I found it quite enjoyable. A bed of dark fruits supported by substantial tannins to offer structure, it’s balanced and easy-drinking if decidedly simplistic, no doubt a crowd pleaser, and an excellent offering for a place where most people want whisky or tap beer to accompany their bar food. Far from a mind-blowing wine, you don’t have to be afraid of this one if you see it on the menu and you’re in the mood for a bottle o’ red.

It was two thirds of the way through the concert when one of Bill Joel’s backup singers broke into Italian opera on the stage, which eventually, and brilliantly, segued into the classic song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” prompting Sky and myself to break into song and clumsy, in-your-seat dance, along with sixteen thousand other people. One of the best nights I’ve had in a long time.  “Bottle o’ red, bottle o’ white, whatever kind of mood you’re in tonight.”
 
Cheers,
Mark
Kenwood * Sonoma County Merlot * 2012

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