Places I Remember

Sometimes I like to go back and taste wines that I drank often years ago but somehow moved on from or just lost interest in. Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling is one of those wines. When I revisit certain wines I realize why I don’t buy them anymore but with some like this Riesling, they seem to hold up and remind me how my tastes have and have not evolved.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling has been a reliable white wine from Washington’s Columbia Valley for years and because it is widely available it can be easily overlooked as a very drinkable option for the money. Riesling is often referred to as a “wine lovers grape” because with all of it’s outstanding qualities and punctuated by the fact it might be the most food-friendly of all wines it has never gained acceptance with causal wine drinkers. I once heard a CEO of Altria, the corporation that owns Chateau Ste. Michelle, describe the wineries in that group as ” a string of pearls”. Quite a fitting compliment when you consider they have managed to maintain a level of quality and consistency that is extremely difficult when you consider the scale of the operation.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling 2018 Columbia Valley is not dry by any means but isn’t sweet either. This wine offers ample body, flavors of peach and citrus that are enhanced by just enough acidity to tie it all together. It’s a solid choice when your dinner guests usually don’t drink wine with their meal and you need an approachable wine everyone can enjoy.

If you are unsure of what white wine to serve at any of your gathers play it safe and pick up some bottles of Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling.

Hot to Trot Red Blend

Hot to Trot Red Blend Photo Courtesy: 14 Hands Vineyard

Hot to Trot Red Blend Photo Courtesy: 14 Hands Vineyard

     The 14 Hands Vineyard in Paterson, Washington produces one of the best blended red wines made in the United States.  This red was once only available to restaurants in selected markets but now can be found in wide distribution due to overwhelming demand.  Hot to Trot is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvgion, Mourverde and Petite Verdot grapes harvested from vineyards in several of Washington’s AVA regions including Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope and the Yakima Valley.  It is made using techniques that are usually reserved for more expensive wines, these include cold soaking, performing a daily  pump-over to extract color and flavor followed by aging in both French and American oak barrels.  This extra care produces a medium body red wine with flavors of very lightly oaked red berries and dark fruit with a hint of vanilla giving way to refined supple tannins followed by a pleasant lingering spice and mocha finish.  Reds from WashingtonState can be pricey but this blend always delivers a well crafted wine at a great price and its ability to pair flawlessly with a range of food makes it very difficult to beat.  14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend can be found at P.L.C.B. stores for $12.99 with the product code 5213.  I suggest using the in store product locator on the website www.finewineandgoodspirits.com to check for availability of this wine because of demand.