Hudson River Valley Wineries

This blog is dedicated to news, events, profiles and reviews of fine food and wine in the Hudson River Valley. We especially feature and spotlight the burgeoning wineries of the Hudson River Region. We accept and will relay information about releases, events, festivals and any toher happening related to food and wine in the Hudson River Valley. Send pertitnent information to

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Carlo DeVito is a long time wine lover, and author of books and magazine articles. He is the author of Wineries of the East Coast. He has traveled to wine regions in California, Canada, up and down the east coast, France, Spain and Chile. He has been a published executive for more than 20 years. He shepherded the wine book program of Wine Spectator as well as worked with Kevin Zraly, Oz Clarke, Matt Kramer, Tom Stevenson, Evan Dawson, Greg Moore, Howard Goldberg, and many other wine writers. He has also published Salvatore Calabrese, Jim Meehan, Clay Risen, and Paul Knorr. Mr. DeVito is the inventor of the mini-kit which has sold more than 100,000,000 copies world wide. He has also publisher such writers as Stephen Hawking, E. O Wilson, Philip Caputo, Gilbert King, James McPherson, John and Mary Gribbin, Thomas Hoving, David Margolick, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., John Edgar Wideman, Stanley Crouch, Dan Rather, Dee Brown, Susie Bright, and Eleanor Clift. He is also the owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery, co-founder of the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail, and president of the Hudson Valley Wine Country.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Benmarl Merlot 2008

There's no secret that one of my favorite wineries is Benmarl. Benmarl has made some wonderful wines over the course of the last few years. The improvement came when Kristop Brown and Matt Specarelli started making changes there three or more years ago. Though Kristop has moved on, the Specarelli family, especially Matt, has continued to see the wines improve.

A great example is the new Benmarl Merlot 2008. An austere, elegant, merlot, in the French tradition, it is loaded with cherries, raspberry, and a hint of dried cranberries, and a touch of barnyard. Beautiful fruit up front, balanced with just the right amount of acidity, and subtle tannins at the end. A smooth, licious finish.

We tasted the wine with a variety of cheeses at first, and then moved onto a luxurious plate of mixed grilled meats. The wine paired nicely with both. We tasted it against some Harpersfield cheddar and against some Old Chatham Sheepherding Camambert both paired with small rounds from a freshinly cut baguette.

But the wine showed even better against the mixed grilled meats, dripping with hot juices and sizzling with crisp, crunchy charred marks. The wine was an incredble accompaniment to this dish.

Another wonderful wine from Benmarl.


Blogger Juliet Johnson said...

I got Benmarl Merlot 2008 as my birthday present last year and it tastes really good and even my guests can only praise the wine's magic. This deserves a place inside your <a href=">custom wine cellar</a>.

6:54 AM  

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