Have you ever felt intimidated about buying a bottle of wine for someone who "knows" wine?
While I am far from being a wine connoisseur, I have friends who will not buy me wine because I am picky about what I drink. (You know at a certain age, it has to be worth the calories!) I have also received wine as gifts, that proceed to become cooking wine and/or sangria. I may not drink it straight, but I sure hate wasting it.
Then there is my dear sister-in-law, who doesn't drink. She makes every attempt to know my taste and then works with the local wine shop to pick a bottle that I will like. And she has been spot on each time! Have I mentioned she doesn't drink?
On my birthday last year, she got me a bottle of the 2009 Obelisco Estate Merlot Reserve. I was thrilled! Obelisco is an excellent winery! I have tried their Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends at a different tasting and couldn't wait to try the Merlot Reserve. Estate Grown no less.
The wine has a ruby hue that seems youngish for a 2009 vintage. When first opened, it has a cherry nose with a hint of tar. The body is structured with soft but firm tannins. There is some fruit, but it does not overpower.
The wine is more expressive with more fruit-forwardness. Mouthfeel is also fuller and smooth with nice acidity. Reminds me of my sister-in-law and the qualities for which I strive: a good blend of femininity, character, and strength.
My Verdict: Delicious with food or alone! Advice to those who are uncertain about buying wine for your wino friends: Find out the preferences and don't be shy to ask your local wine shop for advice. It is also OK to not buy wine either. But don't just grab anything from the grocery store.
Price: $0 since it is a gift! Retails at around $60.
* I use the Sharper Image vacuum wine saver to keep the wine fresh after the bottle is opened.