Summer is a great season to expand your wine palette and try new wines you might not normally have tried before. The warm days are perfect for picnics at the beach with chilled white wines, while the welcome cooler evenings are optimal opportunities for trying new red wines with your summer barbecues at sunset.
For today’s Wine Wednesday, we’re exploring a Pacific Northwest winery that offers a large selection of both white and red wines that are widely available nationwide: 14 Hands Winery.
14 Hands Winery
14 Hands takes its inspiration, like so many wineries do, from the land that bears the majority of the grapes used to make the wines. Based in the dry, hot, majestic Horse Heaven Hills of Eastern Washington, mustangs once roamed the region that the 14 Hands Winery now calls home. Mustangs are smaller horses, known to be “14 hands high,” and these lovely creatures would venture down to the banks of the Columbia River during the day and head back to the hills at night.
14 Hands White Wines: Summer Sippers
From dry white Chardonnays to sweet Rieslings, 14 Hands offers a nice variety of summer sippers that are well priced ($10-12) and taste fabulous sitting out on your back deck, soaking up some sun.
14 Hands 2012 Chardonnay ($12)
This Chardonnay is full of bright fruit – apples, pears – that pairs well with almost any summer meal you can put together. I’d pair it with a light chicken salad.
14 Hands 2013 Riesling ($10)
Like most Rieslings, the 2013 14 Hands Riesling is sweet, making this the perfect pairing with spicy food, such as the Kung Pao Chicken dish that I recently made.
14 Hands 2013 Pinot Gris ($12)
Pinot Gris tends to be my Go To white wine for summer, and the 14 Hands Pinot Gris does not disappoint. It is juicy and full of green apple and melon notes, making it a wonderful pairing for a light summer seafood pasta dish (my fave!).
Oh Moscato. This style of wine took me a while to get into, but now I can appreciate the burst of floral and citrus notes found in the 2013 14 Hands Moscato. I would suggest bringing a chilled bottle to your next picnic and just enjoying it with some hard cheeses, fruits, and nuts.
14 Hands Red Wines: BBQ Superstars
I’m not a huge fan of red meat, but when the summer sun starts to set, I do love me a good ol’ steak on the grill. Pair your barbecue dishes with any of these bold red wines.
This is an excellent wine to enjoy with any weeknight meal or to bring as a hostess gift. With rich aromas of dark berries, herbs, spices, and a touch of chocolate flavor, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has a velvety finish that makes it a delicious wine to enjoy with or without food.
I’ve tried this red blend a few different times now, and I am going to admit: it has been hit or miss. However, it has been more of a hit than a miss, so go ahead and pick up a bottle and try for yourself. At just $12, you can’t go wrong. And when it has been a hit, the deep cherry notes and refined tannins have made this a great wine to complement equally hearty meat dishes, such as a rib eye steak or even steak and blue cheese bite appetizers.
If you enjoy a richer red, you’ll love this Merlot. Packed with dark stone fruit notes and rich plums, cherries, blackberries, this Merlot is a bold son of a gun that can stand on its own.
14 Hands 2010 The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills ($30)
At a higher price point compared to other 14 Hands wines, The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious red wine to enjoy with good friends. Cherries, hints of cocoa, deep, dark, and slightly brooding. It is wonderful on its own, with a nice smooth finish. Drink this with your best friend and share some deep thoughts and laughs under the stars.
14 hands Winery & Tasting Room
If you are visiting Washington state, be sure to check out the new 14 Hands winery and tasting room in Prosser, WA.
The space is a comfortable mix of modern and rustic, with colors and materials that blend with the landscape. The new tasting room offers daily tastings and tours, as well as special events throughout the year.
14 Hands Winery
660 Frontier Rd Prosser, WA 99350
Get Driving Directions
Tasting Room toll-free number: (855) 894-2088
Local Number: (509) 786-5514
Hours: 10am – 5pm
Have you ever tried a 14 Hands wine? If so, which was your favorite?
Disclosure: many thanks to 14 Hands Winery for sending complementary wines for the purpose of this wine review. As always, all photos (unless otherwise noted in captions) and opinions are my own.