December 1, 2009

Nice List: ONEHOPE Merlot

Item: ONEHOPE Merlot
Category: Stocking Stuffers
Cost: $18.99
Where to Buy:
We're big ambassadors for anything tied to a cause, so it's no wonder that ONEHOPE wine makes the top of our "nice" list for the Stocking Stuffer category. And clearly there was no better day to share this find with you than today, World AIDS Day.

We discovered ONEHOPE Chardonnay a few months back as a tie into our Breast Cancer PINKTOBER round-up only to uncover that the company works with several other initiatives, particularly this California-grown Merlot with 50% of proceeds benefiting charities that fund AIDS research. Just as Merlot is one of the most popular varietals in the world, AIDS is arguably the biggest world epidemic claiming over 25 million lives in the past 25 years - see the connection?

Knowing how much I enjoyed their Chardonnay, the kind folks with ONEHOPE offered to send me a sample bottle of this Merlot to try out, and being a sucker for philanthropy and an avid fan of the brand already, I easily said yes. Afterall, it's more fun to drink with purpose!

On the nose, this wine doesn't exude any distinct character. The smell of alcohol overpowers any other aromas, however the minute you allow it to breathe in your mouth (swirl, swirl) you'll see all its flavorful attributes come alive, particularly dark fruits like black cherry, plums and figs. What I like about this Merlot is that its not overtly "New World." It still has some earthy flare that balances out to a smooth finish. Even my roommate who is an avid white wine drinker enjoyed this wine - I think that says enough! My only suggestion, don't decant it and drink it right away. The more it sits and breathes, the faster its taste attributes change. I left mine sit for about 5 minutes and noticed the fruit was less powerful, and more mineralistic characteristics came about.

On a sidenote, between and December 31st, ONEHOPE will donate $1 to charity for every new fan on their Facebook fan page.