For 12 1/2 years of my life I got to spend a good amount of time at my grandparents farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Heading to the farm was the best! Whether it was for a week during the Summer or for New Year’s Eve, we always had such a wonderful time. It was great growing up being able to go to such a beautiful place surrounded by horses and dogs and other wildlife. When my father was growing up they actually raced horses and we loved hearing the stories. Either I wasn’t old enough, or I just didn’t want to get up that early in the morning (most likely the latter), but my sister would wake up occasionally and go with my grandfather to watch horses train at the track.
It was special growing up around a farm and horses. We grew to have a great appreciation for horses and racing. Since I can remember we have always watched the Triple Crown Races, picking our own horses and cheering them on. Last year was probably the coolest and most special race we ever watched. It had been 37 years since a horse won all three races and we (along with the world) were watching American Pharaoh go for the Triple Crown. As I stood next to my grandfather, I knew this was a special moment. He was cheering and so happy. When American Pharaoh won, I gave my grandfather a hug and seeing the excitement in his face and slight emotion was wonderful.
This upcoming Saturday horses will be loaded into the starting gate and then they’ll be off! The 142nd Kentucky Derby will be raced and many mint juleps will be consumed. I love mint juleps and my husband and I enjoy making them throughout the summer. However, they’re strong and very easy to drink, so I generally just have one. If one is your limit and you want to sip on something else, but still be festive, I have the perfect wines for you. 14 Hands is a Washington based winery that produces some wonderful wines. They have 3 wines that are ideal for the Derby. 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend, 14 Hands Stampede Red Blend, and the Limited Edition, Kentucky Derby Red Blend.
Hot to Trot is full of ripe berries and plums. A little spice on the very persistent finish.
Stampede is robust with cherry and subtle chocolate. Spice and cedar linger on as you sip this wine. Very pleasant to sip alone or pair with grilled meats.
Limited Edition Kentucky Derby is full of juicy blackberries and plums. Some may detect black pepper and chocolate as you sip on. A long welcoming smooth finish. A terrifc summer drinking red wine, perfect with cheese and grilled meats. A real winner for sure!
All of these wines range from $8-12.99
So on race day, if sipping on mint juleps isn’t your thing, grab a bottle of 14 Hands and watch the horses run for the roses!