14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend

Last week I had the good fortunate to stay in the Napa Valley. We stayed in a large home that our extended family rented for the week. It was a family reunion and a celebration of a wedding anniversary for my nephew and his wife. We visited several wineries over the course of our stay. Sad to say that there are few wine values and bargains to be found in the Napa Valley. Although the wines are wonderful, the prices overall seemed to be higher than they are worth. We still purchased several bottles to savor the memories of the past week.

The Napa Valley in September

The Napa Valley in September

Tempranillo

Tempranillo

When you are in wine country, always shop at the local markets. They usually carry many of the wines of the area at reduced prices. Case in point: I liked the Pinot Grigio at the Luna Vineyards on the Silverado Trail. The winery price is $18. Over at the Whole Foods Market in Napa the same wine sells for $14.99. Another example is from Vintage Wine Taster Joe F. Joe went to the Twisted Oak winery near Murphys, CA. There he tried the Twisted Oak Tempranillo for $24. Later in the week he spotted the exact same wine at the Big Trees Market in Arnold for $18. Joe F highly recommends this Tempranillo from the Calaveras area in the Sierra Foothills. If you spot it in your neighborhood and the price is right, pick up a bottle to try.

14 Hands Hot-To-Trot Red Blend – Trader Joe’s $8.99 – Joe F’s pick

This is what Joe says about this wine. “I’ve seen this on Trader Joe’s red shelf for some time and, as a horseman, decided to try it because of the catchy label. The wine is from the Columbia Valley in Washington and is a delicious blend of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, and “other varietals,” according to the website. The tannins are very subtle, so the fruit-driven flavors really come through, even with a 13.5% alcohol level. I found this refreshing red a good value at $8.99.”

Hot to Trot

Hot to Trot

Vintjs 2012 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc – Trader Joe’s $5.99

I recently heard through the grapevine that Trader Joe’s corporate hired a wine guy just to take care of the Vintjs label. That means he’s a négociant much like Cameron Hughes and his wines. Supposedly he is a top-notch wine guy. I found this Chenin Blanc at the Trader Joe’s in Napa. I only know of two wine producers in the Napa Valley who currently grow and make a Chenin Blanc, Ballentine Vineyards and Pope Valley Winery. I bet this wine is extra juice from the great 2012 vintage from one of these wineries. The wine is very dry and crisp, with a bit of a citrus tang to it. I like this wine very much for outdoors on a warm summer day with cheese and crackers. 86 Points.

Napa Valley Chenin Blanc

Napa Valley Chenin Blanc

If you would like to check some of my activities while in the Napa Valley, take a look at my Napa Valley Wine Blog. Cheers!

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