L’Ecole 2010 Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Merlot,$34.00

Somehow summer has past. More dark, less light, and cooler nights make me reach for old movies, comfortable sweaters, comfort foods, and comfort wines. It was fun to spend the summer exploring French rose’s but these days I’m thinking of cocooning with red wines I know, and know I love. L’Ecole’s Walla Walla Merlot is definitely one of those. Bright cherry fruit is crowded around by milk chocolate, espresso, and brier. It’s rich and influential. My habit in the kitchen is to try a wine, then decide supper. Of course, comfort wise, it was rib eye steak with this Merlot, but the L’Ecole seemed so pure, all I thought to put on the meat was salt and pepper. Fortunately my sense of anarchy got the better of me, so I finished my medium rare rib eye with a light sprinkle of dried mint. I was well rewarded. The already smooth tannins on the wine disappeared into the marbled beef, and the hint of mint on the meat was echoed and reverberated by the bit of mint that now showed on the Merlot. It satisfied like a hot bath! So what’s your comfort wine?