review – sawmill creek merlot (the daily news)

It’s not often that you come across a bottle of wine under $10 that leaves a lasting impression. Or, at least, a good lasting impression.

On the whole, cheaper bottles of wine tend to be generic, sometimes bitter and usually come across as watered down or fairly flat. Finally I have found a bottle that rings in at just nine bucks that delivers in every way.

Sawmill Creek Merlot is available in pretty much every liquor store in town. It’s a Canadian wine made from grapes from all over so it is the same year after year (that’s why you don’t see a year on the bottle).  Merlot refers to the variety of grape used to make the wine. And that, my friends, is as complex as it gets with this bottle.

It has so much flavour and weight for a, let’s call it… thrifty bottle, that I had to buy it twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining it the first time. I was very surprised by the bold flavor and nice body packed into this little bottle of wine. Many thrifty wines come off as nothing more than alcoholic kool-aid to me. They are watery and one dimensional.  This red delivers a fruit-forward punch that you can actually feel in your mouth. There is a little oak to it but not the overpowering, bitter hit that some of these economically driven sippers smack you with. I find those totally undrinkable.

And the finish! Hello! There it is. And that, my friends, is a very rare thing in a thrifty wine. This one has a nice, medium finish which is what makes this bottle so unique. If you are a freshman in the wine world this is your prom date. It has just enough kick to give you the real wine experience without being so dry or so oaked that you pucker up after you sip. Wait, maybe it’s not a good prom date after all. Who wants to go to a dance without a little kissing?

And why did I choose to write about this wine on this day, you ask? Well, I do believe this is one fantastic camping wine, my fellow Canadians, and this is the last hurrah of summer after all. With luck, you will be sitting in the woods somewhere within the next twenty-four hours. If you are not sure what to bring on the wine front I hope this helps. A happy Labour Day to you!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carmen Fairley
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 13:27:12

    We’ve bought Sawmill Creek Merlot twice since my return from Spain where I enjoyed many different red wines with dinner most nights of the 6 weeks I spent walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. When I was reading through the stack of newspapers saved for me I found your column from Aug 30 and was suitably tempted and ultimately delighted with the resulting purchase. I enjoy your column in the Kamloops Daily News. On a prior occasion I bought a wine that you described very appealingly (Jacob’s Creek Moscato) that we also enjoyed and have bought repeatedly.



    • sipsinthecity
      Dec 03, 2013 @ 08:17:34

      Thanks Carmen! Unfortunately the column doesn’t appear in the paper anymore but you can find lots of reviews on here!!



      • Carmen Fairley
        Jan 18, 2014 @ 21:14:54

        Dear Bonnie, I was sorry to learn that the paper discontinued your column (and now of course the paper has shut down completely) but for the past while I have been enjoying reading your frequent blog entries. I appreciate getting the e-mail announcement each time you’ve added something new. Since our earlier correspondence in which I mentioned my pilgrimage in Spain and my enjoyment of local red wines every night while having the pilgrim dinner at each night’s stop after walking several hours of the day to get there, it has occurred to me how you might enjoy a journey through a country where wine is such an integral component of mealtime. At each inn, bar or country inn-style hostel that featured such an evening meal, enough bottles of the house wine (almost always red) would arrive at the table to ensure that each pilgrim/guest would have a generous serving and occasionally two servings of wine with their meal! While all of the wines were a satisfying component of the multi-course meal where some choices of soups, salads and main courses were offered, and always included white baguette-style bread, dessert and, of course, wine; most of the wines were quite ordinary, many were quite lovely, and a number were quite remarkable. It was on this journey that I really learned to appreciate ordinary red table wines as a pleasant accompaniment to the evening meal. The act of expending physical effort, enjoying convivial table companions and the joie de vivre that accompanies the huge number of people walking all or part of this 800-kilometer ancient pilgrimage route together or separately makes coming together at the end of each day to share a meal all the more pleasurable. Along with the fellowship and stories stemming from the day’s walk and the common purpose of arriving in Santiago de Compostela in Northwestern Spain in the days or weeks ahead, the daily serving of red wine is only one of my favourite memories of my journey along the Camino de Santiago this past September & early October. Since you wrote about Sawmill Creek Merlot we have served it often at home. There is something about it that is reminiscent of my time in Spain where red wine is inexpensive enough to be an everyday accompaniment to meals rather than a luxury reserved for payday weekends.

        On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 7:17 AM, sips in the city wrote:

        > sipsinthecity commented: “Thanks Carmen! Unfortunately the column > doesn’t appear in the paper anymore but you can find lots of reviews on > here!! “


  2. sipsinthecity
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 17:32:15

    Thanks, Carmen. Unfortunately the paper did not pick up the column and it no longer appears. You’ll have to keep an eye on the blog from here on out!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Sips Stats

  • 21,082 sips to date

Old wine

%d bloggers like this: