Merlot_GrapeMystery solved. Len Edgerly, host of the Kindle Chronicles, my favorite Kindle podcast, told me of two would-be Oasis customers cancelling their orders because the $289 e-readers wouldn’t ship until September. I myself checked the Amazon site. It said the delivery date was in May.

Ah! But here’s the explanation. The September date applies only to WiFi Oasises with Merlot covers. I used the default color of black (May 6 as I write this).

“Merlot,” in case you’re curious, is a “dark blue grape used in winemaking, especially in the Bordeaux region of France and in areas of Italy, Switzerland, and California.” Also see Wikipedia, source of this photo.

My sympathy to Mertlot lover and TeleRead commenter Mary. “Surely,” she writes, “it cannot take 5 months to spew out the requisite number of Merlot covers so am hoping for an adjustment in the delivery date.”

Oh, but there’s hope yet for Mary. If she wants to spend $359.99 on a Merlot model with 3G, not just WiFi, the estimated delivery date will be July 13. I’d also suggest she check later this month with outfits such as Best Buy to see if they might soon have Oasises in stock with Merlot covers.

For an Oasis with 3G and a black cover, the estimated delivery date is May 9. For Walnut and 3G, it’s July 12. With just WiFi, Walnut is June 6.

Important: Please check for yourself before placing the final “Order” button. Amazon undoubtedly will be changing the estimate delivery dates.

The above are dates for Kindles carrying advertising—I didn’t check all the possibilities. Pay $20 more and you can get rid of the ads.


  1. If you live in Canada, the estimated ship date for Merlot (or Walnut, for that matter) is never…. or until there is an oversupply in the States. Not bitter, just observing …. I like basic black just fine.

  2. Thanks, David. I placed the order for merlot +3G. I used to have 3G on my Kindles but kind of abandoned it so don’t mind having it again. This has cut the time down from 5 months to 3 months. I’m letting both orders stand at the moment to see what actually happens. I will keep close tabs on the orders so that I don’t end up with two of them but that is not likely to happen. Worst case scenario I would have to pay return shipping on one of them.

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