mcmanis merlotPlying the bargain bins and bottom shelves of supermarkets is a frustrating, occasionally rewarding task.  The McManis Merlot is one of those rewards.

Precise, pretty layers of red plum, chocolate, and vanilla inflected with black pepper and earthy highlights make for a very seductive nose. The palate is soft, smooth, and sexy, medium-bodied with a hint of glycerol, just enough acidity to keep it in balance and reticent tannins that provide subliminal décor for the acts of cajolery upfront. A bit of tart berry shows on the short finish. This is a wine very comfortable in its skin, poised and controlled, too slender and elegant to strive for bombast, a little thin on the midpalate but knowing its charm will carry the day. It won’t satisfy the power hungry, but if you enjoy delicacy and polish this will satisfy. As an inexpensive date-night wine you can’t miss with this.

And for accompaniment you want ultimate cool, the slickest song in history, a song so luscious it’s like listening to chocolate:

Score: 88

Price: $10

Alc: 13.5%