Since our Merlot is fruity and soft, without being overly high in acids or tannins, its fairly easy to drink and pair with foods. We chose our favorite Cheddar cheese, Dubliner Irish Cheddar, because this salty cheddar really helps to balance the slight sweetness of the dried cherries and the acid of the balsamic vinegar. It makes for a perfect appetizer!

This recipe is shared on our website courtesy of Jill Hough, author of 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy

½ cup Queen’s Inn Merlot
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
¼ tsp coarse kosher salt
2/3 cup dried bing or other sweet dried cherries coarsely chopped
8 ounces medium-sharp white cheddar cheese
Whole wheat crackers for serving

In a medium glass or stain-resistant plastic container, combine the wine, olive oil, vinegar, herbes de provence, and salt, whisking to dissolve the salt.

Add the cherries, cover and refrigerate for at least two days, stirring occasionally. (You can refrigerate the cherry mixture for up to a week, stirring occasionally.)

Place the cheese on a platter and let it and the cherry mixture come to room temperature. Spoon the cherry mixture over and around the cheese.

Serve with crackers on the side.

Wine Pairings
2005 Merlot