14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend Columbia Valley 2013

14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend Columbia Valley 2013: Ruby color; plum, cherry, touch of tea on the nose; galloping flavors of plum,

black and red cherry, vanilla, oak, cola, tobacco; spritely easy drinker, smooth, light whip on the of tannin, moderate acidity, oak is there but mercifully not overwrought. Merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and basket of other reds make the blend. Constructed in popular plush fruity style with sweetness from ripe fruits and oak, but nicely restrained compared to some competitors in the $8-$11 (“super premium” in the wine industry’s illogical price segment classifications) red blend arena—the sonic-booming category in the wine world (33% increase in 2012). You will find this in almost every supermarket and wine store there is, and whipped-up in price in many restaurants (it was first marketed as restaurant wine, in fact). Sometimes referred to as a heavenly hamburger and pizza wine, it achieves a bit more than that, but this style does not lend itself to light fare pairings, so fish and poultry are problematic. Red meats and dishes with heavier sauces will work well. The maker is Ste. Michelle Wine Estate, Washington’s oldest and largest wine maker, and the world’s largest maker of riesling. It is a quality operation whatever the color or price point (parent company is Altria, formerly known as Phillip Morris). Excellent rich pour for the money, as evidenced by its stampeding success. $8-1114 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend