This is a review of the De Atramentis Merlot ink for fountain pens.
“Exclusive handmade ink made of wine”? I was idling in Paradise Pen (even though I prefer not to shop there), scanning their selection of De Atramentis inks. There was chocolate, blackberry, and vanilla but I couldn’t really get an idea of the colors through the bottles. Plus, I have a pretty decent selection of colors at home so I didn’t want to overlap too much. Then suddenly! Waaaay in the back, I spotted “merlot” and I thought, hm, interesting!
De Atramentis inks are hand made in Germany to order, offering you a nice, fresh ink. And, this particular ink really is made of wine - achieved by mixing appropriate grapes, resulting in the right scent and color. It is made to European regulations and is safe for fountain pen use. And yes, it really is scented; It smells like a sweet merlot.
The ultimate writing experience - a gorgeous, rich color with a sweet, delicious scent! The scent is more obvious with wetter nibs (not surprising), but once it’s dried, it doesn’t smell anymore. And it’s not a horribly overpowering scent so it won’t radiate off your page while you write (and then your boss won’t think you’re drunk at work).
Overall, I am very pleased with this ink. I usually pick ink based on color, and each time I add one to my collection, I try to pick something very different to what I already have. At some point, I’ll have to start overlapping colors! This ink totally makes me think of merlot. It behaved well on this 24 lb paper - no bleedthrough, good flow, moderate shading, but not waterproof. It also took quite awhile to dry - around 60 seconds. This isn’t much of a deterrent for me, it just means I won’t use it on slick papers or when I’m in a rush. In my current experience with De Atramentis inks, they are watery so the long drying time does not come as a surprise. While I did not notice any ink feathering on heavy weight paper, there was slight feathering on paper that is not made for fountain pens (i.e Moleskine/Piccadilly paper - not shown here in pictures - but you know what did handle it like a pro? My Miquel Rius red soft bound journal!!).
|Obviously, a picture. Although the ink looks darker, I still think this is the best representation of the ink on paper.|
|Writing sample close up (with warming).|
I was kind of surprised it didn’t come in a box but when I think about it, it doesn’t really need one. (If you order from Goulet Pens, you’ll never need a box anyway since they are the royalty of packers.) It's less packaging and thus, less waste.
Paradise Pen - $15.50
A great gift idea for wine lovers, ink lovers, or those who may be both! Just a warning: you should not drink it. It’s not the cheapest ink you can find out there but it’s really nice color - professional enough to be used at work! And yet, still very nice to look at. I’m a big fan of unusual inks and I think De Atramentis certainly brings that to the table, so add this one to your list! Others in the series include exclusive handmade inks made of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, whisky, beer, and more!