Bargain Wine of the Week – Quail Oak Merlot

This week’s bargain wine of the week is Quail Oak Merlot. Quail Oak is Safeway’s own brand wine; an attempt to tap into the market created by Trader Joe’s infamous Two Buck Chuck. We have found some gems researching this ongoing series for our blogs; this wine is not one of them.

In the glass, the wine was semi-transparent with an opaque core; looking more like a Pinot Noir than a Merlot. The nose was of medium intensity; rubbing alcohol with a wafting impression of cherry candy. The evidence from the observation of these first two senses was not encouraging. The overwhelming impact in the mouth was of a far too high acidity. There was the slightest hint of cherry. The finish was bitter and acidic; it was mercifully short.

After we had taken a couple of tastes of this wine, we tipped the rest of our glasses and the bottle down the sink. Quail Oak Merlot is listed as having a retail cost of $6.99, but California Girl paid just $1.99. Even at this lower price, I cannot recommend the wine. The acidity and lack of flavour mean that it would not even serve as a base for a Sangria.

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