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No Horsin' Around when it comes to the perfect BBQ wine: 14 Hands

14 Hands Merlot
14 Hands Merlot
Alison Brooks

14 Hands Pinot Gris and Merlot

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It’s the time of year when you open the front door and it resembles opening a hot steamy oven. Summer is most definitely here. Which means most of you folks have been to their fair share of outdoor BBQ’s or even clambakes, perhaps even hosted your own gathering. Beer and wine is pretty much a staple at any outdoor gathering. A lot of folks tend to be seasonal wine consumers, so summer means cold white wine. But don’t discount that rare wine drinker who wants a glass of red wine regardless of the 90 plus degree temperature outside. They do exist!

But let's stick with white wine for now. Instead of the standard chilled Sauvignon Blanc that seems to be at every outdoor gathering, try another crisp refreshing white wine that is just as pleasant, a Pinot Gris. Generally a very smooth crisp white wine, this is the perfect grape to serve at that next outdoor party.

14 Hands Pinot Gris comes from Washington State, where this grape thrives in the many microclimates. This Pinot Gris is full of flavor and won’t disappoint. Swirling this wine in the glass you'll note crisp melon and subtle pineapple hit you on the nose. On the palate green apple and honeysuckle gallop along into a long smooth finish. Sip on this on it’s own or enjoy with seafood or grilled veggies.

Now for the non-seasonal wine drinkers who are brave enough to enjoy red wine when it is hot as Hades outside: 14 Hands Merlot and 14 Hands Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Merlot’s are great BBQ pairing wines. The flavors of the smokey sweet BBQ and the dark stone fruit and spice are the perfect match. 14 Hands Merlot has wonderful aromas of dark cherry and subtle notes of dried herbs. Sipping this wine, plum and spice surrounded by cherries and blackberries trot on the palate to the very velvety long finish. This is one of those wines that is hard to put down once poured in the glass.

14 Hands Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant red wine filled with black currants and cherries – subtle notes of sage can be noticed. Ripe red fruit and cocoa coat the palate. The finish is long and rewarding. Not dry at all, actually smooth tannins like an afternoon canter through the woods. The pricier of the 14 Hands collection, this wine is well worth the green. 92 points from the Wine Spectator and 90 Points from the Wine Advocate. The perfect special occasion wine.

Three wines worthy of the winner's circle, 14 Hands are perfect wines to take along to your next BBQ or to serve your guests whether it's trotting towards 100, or we get that rare gift of low 80s with low humidity. With a great price to match, it's time to saddle up and pick up a bottle today!

Find 14 Hands in the following stores: Pinot Gris and Merlot - Suggested retail price $12

Total Wine & More $8.97

Safeway $12

Costco $8-10

Harris Teeter

Cheesecake Factory - Price varies

Mad Rose Tavern in Clarendon - Price varies

14 Hands Cabernet Reserve - Online $30