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Merlot - 12/3/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Matanzas Creek Merlot, Bennett Valley 2007  * $$
(Well-made, but underwhelming; fails to impress.)

Cline Estate Merlot, Sonoma Coast 2012 **  $
(Well-made, and captivating, a very good entry level merlot with aspirations.)

Sterling Vineyards Merlot, Napa Valley 2011 **1/2  $$
(Allow one hour for breathing;  intriguing, tasty, likeable.)

Cameron Hughes Lot 356 Merlot, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County 2010 ***  $$
(A superb merlot, bursting with exotic aromas and flavors.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill. A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.