2006 Tunata di Blasig Merlot, Friuli Isonzo, $14.99/Sale $12.99: Friuli, in northeast Italy, has always been known as a treasure trove of white wines. But they can make some delightful red wines up there too.
A lot of the reds were brought into the region by the Hapsburgs in the 19th Century. Merlot is the most prominent with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon second and third respectively. Enough background.
This is a Merlot markedly different from most of our domestic production. Sure it’s smooth and fruit-forward, but it “speaks” with an Italian accent. It projects style, but there is a whisper of lustiness. Actually, it’s something like Sophia Loren in a bottle.
It would be friendly with a wide range of foods – meat, fowl, even fish like Salmon. And, of course, almost any pasta would be a glorious combo. We just had a glass with minestrone soup and we immediately began to fantasize about all sorts of sensual recreations.