Hot to Trot for Red Wine and Fall!

Red wine… how I have missed thee…

I have by no means been abstaining from wine, but I have certainly not been keeping on top of the wine blog!  In part due to working 2 to 3 jobs these past few weeks, but more so just not  in the writing mood.  Taking the month off from blogging has actually been quite refreshing as I feel I have had time to really enjoy the wine I’ve had the pleasure to consume.  No time tables.  No agendas.  No need to jot down my critical notes.  The time away was much appreciated to regroup before plunging back into the hectic worlds of mom/wife/blogger/school psych student/ whatever else fits into my schedule.  Truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

But along with the busyness that September ushers in, there also arrives what I feel to be one of God’s most beautiful creations: Autumn. The crisp air, the changing leaves, the cooler weather. Football!!  Yes, I am that person who cries, “Pumpkin EVERYTHING!”  Though I do draw the line at wine.  I do have limits.  But with fall comes the revival of red wine, perhaps the greatest comfort beverage out there.  I felt to kickoff my  most beloved of all seasons, it would be best to celebrate with my most beloved of all red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon. But as fate would have it, it would be 95* outside, and a reminder from my husband that it is still not yet officially autumn.  I think it was just his way to bust out his preferred red blend, but that is neither here nor there.  So, to celebrate the changing of the seasonal guard from Summer to Autumn, I present to you the 2011 Hot to Trot red blend by 14 Hands.

This is only my second review of a wine by 14 Hands, the first (and only) being the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon some time ago.  My first experience with 14 Hands was  with their 2009 Hot to Trot red blend, and I found it to be quite the exceptional value at under $12. However, then the 2010 came along, and that was a whole different experience, and not for the better.  So I promised to hold out for the 2011 to see what may be in store.  Being such a young wine, I was skeptical, but as it is meant for more immediate consumption, I tried to remain open.  I uncorked the wine as I was preparing dinner, and I let it sit for nearly an hour before I took even the first whiff.  Even still, I found the nose to be heavy with smoke up front.  Undertones of leather and deep black cherries began to emerge as I swirled the wine in my glass, helping to soften what I felt to be overbearing smoky earth.  The palate was as expected: smoked stone fruits, quite reminiscent of an old vine Syrah, actually.  Acidic at first, the wine does smooth out, allowing the notes of old leather to come through; cherries and spice round out the finish.  I did not detect tight tannins, as I would expect with such a young wine, but the acidity could be a bit powerful.  I did keep this wine around for a second night, and was pleasantly surprised with how well the wine mellowed out.  The smokiness had smoothed out as well, but overall the palate had lost some of its flavor.  In the

Not a 201 pic - I forgot to take my own. Label hasn't changed

Not a 201 pic – I forgot to take my own. Label hasn’t changed

end, the 2011 Hot to Trot Red Blend was about as I expected it to be.

2011 Hot to Trot (Red) by 14 Hands:  ★★★☆☆ (decent/good wine)

This wine is widely available at grocery stores, wine stores, the larger warehouses, and of course, online (http://www.14hands.com/wines/hot-to-trot-red-blend) in the $10 to $12 range.  The Hot to Trot reds generally tend to be predominately Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon (not necessarily in this order) with perhaps a few other varietals mixed in.  While this 2011 is not my personal favorite for everyday wine consumption, my husband greatly enjoyed it.  So remember, For every palate there is a wine…

I have a Cabernet Sauvignon review coming up shortly, so check back soon!

Have you tried this wine before? Please share you thoughts in the comments below!

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