Join wine makers, wine retailers and wine lovers as they drink to Washington Merlot on March 25th!

Once upon a time, Merlot was a popular wine in its native France and here in the US. Unfortunately, Merlot has become much maligned in recent years, thanks to the movie Sideways and other factors.  Don’t let a movie make your wine drinking decisions for you!  If you have been neglecting Merlot, here is an opportunity to taste what Washington Merlot has to offer. As part of Washington Wine Month, wine bloggers led by Josh Wade of Drink Nectar, are organizing a massive Merlot virtual tasting on March 25th from 5-7pm PST.

Virtual Merlot Tasting

One of the most enjoyable aspects of wine, is sipping it in the company of friends and family. Virtual tastings build on that experience by letting you enjoy and discuss wines with people near and far. People will be drinking wine and talking about wine at wineries, wine bars, wine shops, tasting parties, around the kitchen table AND sharing their tasting experiences on Twitter.  Using the Twitter tag #WAMerlot, wine drinkers will be sharing their Washington Merlot experience. You might only be able to try one, two  or Washington Merlots but via Twitter you will be able to learn about 20, 30, 60 or more Washington state Merlot wines. You will have lots of information for your next wine shopping adventure! To start connecting with participating wineries and tasters, register with Event-Brite.

Where to get Washington Merlot?

Inside of Washington state -You have lots of options. Merlot is second only to Syrah in Washington wine production so lot of wineries have this wine available. Many will be offering special discounts and/or tastings for this event. Josh will be updating a list of participating wineries daily. Winery twitter accounts and facebook fan pages will be  a good way to find out about these specials. We have a  list of about 150 winery twitter accounts that you can tap into.   The sponsoring bloggers will also be spreading the word as we learn about the different winery promotions. Most of the larger grocery stores like Fred Meyers, Safeway, QFC , Thriftway and Albertsons have a good selection of Washington wines, including Merlots. Your favorite wine shop can help you select a choice Washington Merlot for your price point.

Outside of Washington state -Your favorite neighborhood wine shop should be able to find a nice Washington Merlot. If not in stock, there is time for them to order one for you. Depending on your state, your larger grocery store is probably carrying some Washington Merlot from one of the bigger Washington wineries such as Chateau St Michelle, Columbia Crest and Columbia Wineries. Many of the participating Washington wineries have online shopping carts, enabling you to purchase the wines direct, depending on your home state. Wine Library TV is offering a special package of Washington Merlot and they provide shipping to 34 states. If you are a blogger, this is a great opportunity to enter in the WBC or Bust all expense paid road trip!

How to participate?

The short answer is open a bottle of Washington Merlot on 3/25/10 between 5-7 pm and share your opinions on Twitter using the hashtag #WAMerlot. In the next couple of weeks, sponsoring bloggers will be sharing their suggestions on not only how to participate, but how to gain the most out of your participation. Start off with this article on the Washington Wine Report on participation for consumers and wineries.

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List of wineries registered to participate.