Wined Up: A simple and unfussy Jackson-Triggs Merlot perfect for an evening with Fargo's Gaetano Fadda

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      We lovingly decant wines from the West Coast to Western Samoa and beyond, and then give you a highly opinionated, pocket-sized review.

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      Jackson-Triggs Reserve Merlot 2018

      Their words

      “Our Reserve Merlot underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged with French and American oak for complexity. It is a full-bodied wine with notes with fresh plum and black cherry.”

      Suggested perfect pairings

      Go braised beef if you’re in a Bobby Flay mood, fried chicken if you’ve made a pitstop at Downlow on the Drive, or a nice (which is to say non-Great Value™ at No Frills) gouda, gruyère, or havarti from Bosa (which the last time we checked this holiday season was lined up around the block). Or, even better, start watching Season 4 of Fargo, pull on your nonna apron, and whip up a mega-platter of penne bolgnese with grilled Italian sausages.

      Duly noted

      Speaking of the show that goes with winter like snow tires and mulled wine, a quick diversion here. When you’re big and bold, you can hold your own against pretty much anything. Need proof of that? Look no further than Fargo's Season 4, which has been (and arguably remains) the best show on television right now. There were countless great characters, included but not limited to E’myri Crutchfield as preternaturally smart teen Ethelrida Pearl Smutny, Jessie Buckley as warped Midwestern nurse Oraetta Mayflower, and Timothy Olyphant as carrot-munching mormam marshall Dick “Deafy” Wickware. But the greatest of all might have been scene-stealing Salvatore Esposito as psycopathic Italian man-mountain Gaetano Fadda.

      Fadda would love the unfussy and workmanlike Reserve Merlot, a full-bodied but not overpowering offering that hints at dark chocolate and field-grown strawberries with a smokey whisper of oak. Best of all, it's not going to break the bank, meaning you can pretty much be guilt-free about reaching for that second bottle at dinner and pouring that third glass. Sometimes simple and sturdy is good. Just ask Gaetano Fadda.