linuxdave — September 24, 2005, 4:08 pm

Little Penguin Merlot 2004

Little Penguin Merlot
Matching the Yellow Tail Merlot with the catchy blue label, cheap price, and quality taste, this cheap wine is a tried and true favorite of mine.

Deep red and fruity, it has a wonderful aroma and a very well-defined bouquet. I have no complaints at all.
And although neither the label nor the Little Penguin website mentions vanilla, it is always the first thing I notice when tasting this wine. But the vanilla is not overdone, and I personally love this characteristic.

And now, I invite you to construct your own cut-out Little Penguin.

How could you not like a wine named “Little Penguin”?
Little Penguin Merlot

Rating: 9
Price: $7.99
Enjoyed with: Steak, olives, sharp cheddar cheese (yeah, life is good)
Winery Info:
The Little Penguin Wines
South Eastern Australia


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  1. Comment by DesDragon @ October 9, 2005, 9:31 am

    Thanks for the tip. We see the wine here in Singapore too, but of cos the taxes etc costs a bomb and we get the wine at about A$16-18.
    But will definitely try it out.

  2. Trackback by Gourmets of Wine @ October 9, 2005, 1:38 pm

    Little Penguin Merlot 2004

    [Source: Cheap Wine Reviews] quoted: Matching the Yellow Tail Merlot with the catchy blue label, cheap price, and quality taste, this cheap wine is a tried and true favorite of mine.

  3. Comment by Fred @ November 1, 2005, 9:18 pm

    Nice review. I have tried their whole range not too long ago. I agree that the Merlot is wonderful for the price. They have a real gem with their rose – White Shiraz – was worried that it would be like white zinfandel but this is a nice rose.

  4. Comment by Rosie @ November 2, 2005, 5:09 pm

    I love these wines and agree that, with a name like the Little Penguin, you can’t go wrong. Have you checked out their site? Lots of great stuff that’s fun and interactive:

    I have enjoyed their Merlot on several occasions (along with their other wines). I found it to be a wonderful, mellow wine to enjoy while relaxing in front of the tv or with friends. I always grab a couple bottles when I have a get-to-gether. Not sure if I got the whiff of vanilla you mentioned, but enjoyed a fruitful palate.

    btw: cute pic! You should send it in to them: they have a photo gallery. Mine’s up (the dog w/ the bottle in his mouth).

  5. Comment by echarlto @ November 30, 2005, 8:25 pm

    Round, smooth, soft. Very drinkable. Didn’t find the nose that pronounced, but this is a user-friendly wine! I’m likin’ 2004 much better than 2003.

  6. Comment by Dave @ December 10, 2005, 8:49 pm

    I bought 2 bottles of this wine last winter and was not impressed. Both bottles tasted like vinegar. I won’t be buying again.

  7. Trackback by Box Wines @ January 14, 2006, 11:56 pm

    Little Penguin Merlot 2004

    Price: $7
    Maker: Little Penguin
    Variety: Merlot
    Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
    Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
    The Little Penguin Merlot 2004 is the second variety we’ve tried from Little Penguin, and. like the Shiraz we sampled, it’…

  8. Comment by Carlos Toledo @ January 31, 2006, 11:26 pm

    Great wine for the price. Fun guaranteed. Sort of…. i’ll enjoy myself a little bit tonight. Can’t go wrong with it.

  9. Comment by fotodude @ February 12, 2006, 9:30 pm

    How do they make such a smooth, mellow merlot for $6.99? It’s insane! It’s my wife’s favorite wine period & in my top 5. For $6.99 we drink it ALL the time!

  10. Comment by Bill Kennan @ March 25, 2006, 9:24 pm

    Little Penguine Merlot regularly goes on sale for $6.94 at the local Wal Mart. I stock up. What a bargain!

  11. Pingback by Wines » Little Penguin Merlot 2004 @ June 16, 2006, 11:18 pm

    […] Cheap Wine Reviews liked this wine too. […]

  12. Comment by winehobbit @ August 11, 2006, 8:35 pm

    Solid wines for the price – agreed the Merlot is the stand out by far. HEY ROSIE – you are right that the penguin website is fun, but you are a stinking liar about the dog. That is MY Basset Hound. Get real. Taking creadit for someone else’s cute dog? That’s pretty pathetic.

  13. Comment by Michelle @ December 15, 2006, 12:36 am

    I haven’t tried the Merlot yet, but tonight, picked up a bottle of the Chardonnay! Lovely! Oak-y, butter-y finish, reminiscent of the Chardonnays of old. I’m looking forward to trying the Merlot!

  14. Comment by jill @ February 5, 2007, 11:37 am

    Can you buy this wine in Ohio?

  15. Comment by haknot @ May 27, 2007, 2:54 pm

    You can buy it at Albertson’s in Surprise, AZ, and I strongly support you if you do. You can’t drink it at Albertson’s, which is a shame. You have to wait until you get home. My girlfriend, the Lovely Linda, a Merlot afficianado, pronounces it “very nice”.

  16. Comment by Bill @ June 26, 2007, 2:28 pm

    Sorry all, but this wine sucks. Those that like it, well, develop your palate a little. It’s overly heavy, too jammy/fruity and just a plain nasty wine. There are many better for around the same price.

  17. Comment by Bill @ June 26, 2007, 2:31 pm

    And stop judging/buying wine because of the cute picture on the bottle.

  18. Comment by SSWine @ July 18, 2007, 3:54 pm

    Bill just doesn’t get it. If somebody likes a particular wine, then that’s absolutely terrific.

    Actually, the only loser here is you, Bill, since it’s your palate that doesn’t find this particular cheap wine enjoyable.

    And instead of making junior high school comments like “this wine sucks” and there are “many better for …. the same price,” why not actually make yourself useful by stating which ones you like at this similar price and why you like them?

  19. Comment by Chelsie @ July 27, 2007, 2:44 am

    I also found this wine enjoyable, but it wasn’t fantastic… here is my review…

  20. Comment by Epps @ November 23, 2007, 3:23 am

    Have tried the Merlot and the Shirez and enjoyed both. Also tried the Pinot Noir tonight.

  21. Comment by Elaine @ December 20, 2007, 9:38 pm

    A friend brought a bottle of the Little Penguin merlot to my house for the 4th of July and found it be one of the best merlots I’ve every tasted. I find many merlots to have too strong a finish. I found this one to be very smooth. I bought a few other varieties and expect them to be as good.

    I brought a bottle to my brother’s for Thanksgiving but we didn’t open it that day. He opened it a few days afterwards and sent me an email saying how good it was. He has an extensive wine collection and many are expensive and he’s a bit of a wine snob. This is the first time he ever sent me an email saying how much he like any wine I have ever brought to his house.

    I think that says a lot!!

  22. Comment by Eric @ January 12, 2008, 10:53 pm

    I tried this one, I REALLY didn’t like it.

    I have found very few Aussie wines I could drink. I prefer French, Italian, and Spanish wine.

    I don’t even like Californian wines (whites seem to be more forgiving.)


  23. Comment by Carrie @ June 18, 2009, 8:36 pm

    This wine is fantastic! I’ve had several of theirs and they are all great. I’ve spent $50 on bottles of wine and always enjoy a glass from this $7 bottle much more!

  24. Comment by Ahu @ July 3, 2009, 9:49 pm

    I bought a bottle today at the shopper’s in germantown , md. I like wine while my husband is a beer drinker. i had seen this wine before but did not buy because i thought i could not finish it myself. friends are coming tomorrow, and i picked one today. i am hoping that they will like it so will i

  25. Comment by winelover @ September 4, 2009, 5:21 am

    how much will it be in sing dollars?

  26. Comment by matt @ January 15, 2010, 1:01 pm

    Bought an 08 merlot they said “it’s as smooth as the sea” but I didn’t know the sea tasted like LISTERINE! Nothing like cheap wine that burns your mouth as if it were EVERCLEAR.

  27. Comment by fran caldwell-west @ October 5, 2010, 9:18 am

    loved it…

  28. Comment by Michael @ May 14, 2011, 8:28 pm

    I agree that the Merlot is an outstanding value for an excellent table wine. Don’t rule out the others they produce. I get them here for $6.19 and a 20% discount for a case (mix and match).
    I am sipping the Pinot Noir at the moment and has a nice peppery finish. The Chardoney is wonderful as well. A great value for sure.

  29. Comment by Francis @ June 19, 2013, 2:07 am

    I’m from the Philippines and I find that this wine is great value for money. It’s being sold at 260 pesos here and I think that would come out to a little bit more than 6 US dollars. It’s not a great wine but when I compare it to its more expensive Australian counterparts that are sold here like Yellowtail, Gossips, Angoves and Banrock Station, I feel that this brand is better or at the least equal. In fairness though, I am comparing it to the entry levels of these brands and not their high end ones. The Chardonnay is actually my favorite.

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