Bamboozled and Blissed -14 Hands Hot to Trot


You know what’s hilarious? When you are at a restaurant and discover a wine that blows you away. The excitement is not due to the food, which is delicious or the ambience that places you in a state of relaxation. This restaurant is far from any of these descriptions. Your excitement, well my enthusiasm is based on the wine that was surprisingly delicious and only cost $9.00 a glass. This establishment folks is “The Cheesecake Factory”. YUPPER!

Far from a relaxed ambience or a cuisine making you feel you’re in another country. THE TOTAL OPPOSITE! The Cheesecake Factory has become very popular with my daughter and her friends. I guess it is due to no reservations, one-hour plus wait to be seated and the joy of browsing through a menu that consists of over 30 pages. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a Cheesecake Factory bashing. But, I have to share my observations and how I would run a more efficient operation that I predict would cut down on half of cancellations and walk-outs. Real quick, here is my plan; ACCEPT RESERVATIONS, that’s it! Number one and two, customer satisfaction and revenue will increase. I observed half of the customers walking out after they received the “buzzer” (you know the device that buzzes and flashes red when your table is ready); shaking my head. I digressed, greatly; back to the review.



I was bragging about this Cheesecake Factory wine, 14 Hands Hot to Trot on how it is so delicious and I have to add it to my wine collection. So, I searched online and found myself ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING (ROFL)! 14 Hands Hot to Trot is available at CVS, Walmart, Giant and Total Wines, to name a few.

What is hysterical is the wine is under $10.00. ROFL!! My thoughts scream, “Whaaat! It can not be the same wine”?! From Bonquisha (my alter ego): ”Hahaha, you “buchee” wine snob likes a wine sold at CVS for only $8.99”. I can not stop laughing. I will admit, I am feeling a little bamboozled. Cheesecake Factory is serving 14 Hands Hot to Trot for $9.00 a glass, four times the cost. THIS IS ABSURD! I have seen double but friggin tripled, quadrupled!

Trying to rationalize and regain my composure, I am in complete denial; maybe it is a different wine, 14 Hands Winery does produce other reds. So, maybe I drank one of their reserve wines, NOPE!

Bamboozled, perplexed, whatever you what to call it, I have come to terms with the deceitfulness and accept the fact that I am ecstatic for 14 Hands Hot to Trot. I am sure this is not a first nor will it be the last that I will over charged for what a wine is worth … c’est la vie.  I purchased a bottle of 14 Hands Hot to Trot for under $10.00 at Giant and it was blissful! 

Attached is the winemaker’s notes: 14 Hands Hot to Trot Winemaker Notes. Try not to be a wine snob, check out 14 Hands Hot to Trot at visit: or grab a bottle at your local CVS or grocery store. 😛


2012 “Frenchie”, Benjamin Franklin Red Wine – Not Just for Dog Lovers!

14798848_10208066560678160_1247250745_nI am so impressed with how my girlfriend’s appreciation for wine has progressed. I remember when she would only drink Glen Ellen White Zinfandel. (Yes, I’m sure many of us can relate; in the beginning, White Zinfandel was our wine of choice. Shoot, at one time, I recall when White Zinfandel was the number consumed wine). Over time she has come to appreciate light to medium-bodied red wines. The full-bodied tannic red wines are still not her cup of tea, but in due time :).

On her travel to California, she visited Frenchie Winery at Raymond Vineyards and brought me back a bottle of 2012 “Frenchie”, Benjamin Franklin red wine blend. The wine label TOO CUTE!

AROMAS: Bold fruity aromas with hints of cocoa and a slight spice/black pepper.
TASTE: Big juicy flavors that reminds me of a Zinfandel, full-bodied ripe cherries.  
COMPOSITION: 46% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and 9% Petit Syrah.

“Frenchie” is not available to the public, only available to wine club members. It was explained that the tasting was held in beautifully lush red/cranberry private room with cranberry colored drapes that hung from the ceiling. The tasting room setting made you feel like you were in another era of time.

What is so fantastic that she had a wonderful experience and is intrigued to try other red wines. Two-thumbs up for Frenchie Winery!!

For more information on Frenchie Winery at Raymond Vineyards visit:

Frenchie Winery (at Raymond Vineyards)
849 Zinfandel Lane
Saint Helena, CA 94574

Salute! Sante!

2014 Halos de Jupiter, Cotes du Rhone

Your Everyday Drinking Wine

I’m at Total Wines to pick-up a bottle of wine for a friend. My radar goes off and I spot a wine tasting. I do not know about you, but I can not pass-by a wine tasting.

I’m purchasing a wine for a friend, whose wine consumption consist only of Ménage à Trois. No disrespect intended, but to assist in broadening her wine experience, I’ve been introducing her to different vineyards and varieties.

Since she prefers red wine, I do not bother tasting the whites. The first of the two red wines is a 2013 Halos de Jupiter, Cotes du Rhone. A fruit-forward medium-bodied red wine, PERFECT! Well, it would have been perfect if they had the 2013 Jupiter in stock :/. I was assured the 2014 Jupiter was “just as good” (by the way, the sales clerk continued to pour the 2013 and no, I was not able to taste the 2014). So of course, I had to also purchase the 2014 Jupiter for myself; I can not gift a wine without knowing if the wine is any good (poor me :)).


2014 Halos de Jupiter, Cotes du Rhone posses a deep rich color with fruity, cherry and spicy aromas; fruit-forward, juicy cherry, raspberries flavors and a mild spice on the finish. A medium-bodied red wine blend with complexity. The 2014 Halos de Jupiter is 83% Grenache and 15% Syrah – VERY NICE!

Exactly what I had in mind, a good everyday drinking wine. YUP, the sale clerk was correct, the 2014 Jupiter is “just as good” as the 2013 Jupiter!

Food pairing: red and white meats: roasted chicken, pork, veal, and duck
Cost: $16.00