Wine, Steak and The Godfather Part II

review wine pairing napa cellars merlot 2007 and steak

Napa Cellars Merlot 2007

On Sunday night, we like to get ready for the work week ahead, have a comfort meal, and watch some TV. This weekend, AMC ran a Godfather marathon, which seemed perfect to watch while eating steak and drinking red wine. With The Godfather Part II as a backdrop, we grilled some delicious porterhouse steaks, and popped the cork on a wine that’s been in my cellar for a few years. Sipping the Napa Cellars Merlot 2007 with Michael Corleone was a perfect way to end the weekend.

How Do We Grill Our Steak?

We’re steak purists. This is not to imply we don’t like interesting and exciting preparations for our steaks. I’ve have some amazing steaks with sauces that could blow your hair back. However, when we pull out the Weber charcoal grill, we only season our steak with two ingredients. Those ingredients are salt, and pepper. We grill the steaks over a high heat for about 5-7 minutes per side, and pull them off medium rare. Then, we pour the wine.

Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Sautéed Mushrooms paired with Merlot  red wine

Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Sautéed Mushrooms paired with Merlot

Tasting the Napa Cellars Merlot 2007

Part of the Trinchero Family Estates portfolio, I’ve written about Napa Cellars wines in the past. This bottle was a sample that I received in 2010, so it’s been sitting in my cellar a while. I opened the Napa Cellars Merlot 2007 about 30 minutes before we were ready to eat, and poured 2 ounces or so into a glass. This allowed the bottle to open up a little, and I was able to sip on some of the wine while grilling the steaks. The wine was an opaque purple to garnet color in the glass, with an aroma of fresh blueberry and brambles. The palate was full, having great layers of blueberry and vanilla, with wonderfully integrated oak in the form of warming cedar and spice that is noticed on the mid-palate and finish. This wine really benefited from the 30 minutes of air, and certainly evolved over the next hour as it was slowly sipped.

Napa Cellars Merlot 2007 Pairs Perfectly With Steak

Napa Cellars Merlot 2007 Pairs Perfectly With Steak

Wine Pairing With Steak

We do tend to eat a lot of red meat, steak being on the menu at least twice a month. While we usually pair a Cabernet Sauvignon, we’ve been known to break out an Italian red wine for steak before. Merlot does not make it into our glass often, but not because we aren’t fans. Rather, it’s a wine we just don’t seem to grab from the shelves often enough. However, as the Napa Cellars Merlot shows, Merlot a great wine time and time again.

At $22, the Napa Cellars Merlot 2007 is aged in new and 1-year old American Oak barrels, is 100% Merlot and is 14.5% ABV. When Fred from Norcal Wine reviewed the wine in 2010, he recommended it, saying it would drink through 2013, though it’s doing fine in 2014 in my opinion. While you’re not likely to find the 2007 vintage in stores, I would not hesitate to try the current, 2011 vintage of this wine. Napa Cellars wines deliver time and time again, and at a price that’s more than reasonable.

What are your thoughts on Merlot? Let me know below!

 

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  • Meredith Steele

    Wine, steak, and The Godfather! I’m in!

  • Jeanette Chen

    Sounds like the perfect cozy night in – what else could you ask for.

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    I’ll pour you a glass, Meredith! Are you a merlot fan?

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Jeanette, it was indeed perfect. I think we need more perfect, cozy nights in! We tend to hustle and bustle a bit too much, and forget to slow down. Even when we purposely try to have low key Sundays, something always gets in the way!

  • Liz

    That’s just the way I like my steak! Thanks for the wine recommendation…sounds perfect!

  • Diana Hendrick Weber

    I truly enjoy Merlot. I’ll be picking up a bottle of Napa Cellars to enjoy soon! I love wine, but lost my sense of smell a few years ago. With that being said, my taste buds tend crave something a bit dryer than Merlot when enjoying steak. So happy to have discovered this site!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Glad you stopped by Liz!! Happy to provide recommendations, it’s my happy place!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Diana – Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate your comment.
    So sorry about losing your sense of smell. I actually was reading an article on that last week, about a Sommelier/Wine Pro who had lost his. There was interesting studies being done on how to try and bring it back. If I can find that Article, I’ll repost it.

    When you say something more dry than merlot, I am going to ask a question. Since “dry” is a measure of sugar in wine, and Merlot is going to be as Dry as most other red wines, do you mean tannic? Are you talking about that drying sensation, sort of the astringent feeling you get when drinking black tea? If so, you want a more tannic wine, not a more dry wine. PLEASE forgive me if I’m sounding like a geek or snob. I dont mean to, I just want to give you the best advice i can!!

  • Diana Hendrick Weber

    Yes more tannic. Or maybe just less fruity? Oh, I am going to learn so much! Maybe my taste buds are confusing the fruity tones with sweetness? Thank you! If you find that article, I’d absolutely love to read it.