In another large pot, crock pot or dutch oven place olive oil and diced onion and shallots over medium heat until caramelized. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and cook for a few minutes, (you may want to add a tbsp of butter) then add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots, meat, and seasonings, cover and let steam over medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Then add water and a little more of Merlot stir and bring to a simmer. Once simmering reduce heat to low and cover, stirring occasionally.
After it has cooked for at least 2-3 hours, sample the stew and add more salt, pepper, seasonings and Merlot to your liking.
I usually start out with a tbsp at a time of rosemary and thyme, and a tsp of salt and pepper. I add more during cooking until I feel it tastes right. Always check before you serve because salt cooks out, so it may need a little more before serving.
You can slow cook this for 4-5 hours. The longer you cook on a low simmer the more tender the meat will be. As long as the meat is cooked through you can serve usually as early as early as 3 hrs. As long as you brought it to a boil and then turned down and let simmer.