Washington wine goes to the Kentucky Derby this weekend with 14 Hands Winery representing as the official wine partner. This year is the 144th annual Kentucky Derby, scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 5, at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
If you’re the betting sort, experts say the horse Justify is the favorite at 3-1. If you’d rather play it safe, 14 Hands bets this sparkling wine spin on the Derby classic Mint Julep cocktail is a sure win.
“The Mint Julep recipe was a fun way for us to incorporate our sparkling wine into the Derby festivities,” says Rebekah Gunderson, the winery’s senior marketing manager, on integrating more wine into the bourbon-saturated event. “Plus, what better way to enjoy the Derby than with 14 Hands wine, which was inspired by horses and features horses on the labels?”
A number of 14 Hands’ wines will be present at the Derby, including a dedicated Kentucky Derby Red Blend which is also available nationwide for home celebrations — before, during and after the big race.
“We are excited for our continued partnership with the Kentucky Derby, as it gives us an opportunity to showcase 14 Hands’ universal appeal,” winemaker Keith Kenison says. “14 Hands’ bold, fruit-forward reds and crisp, juicy whites are perfect for your Derby party or just about any occasion.”
Try the off-dry sparkling Brut in this classic cocktail to bring the Derby into your kitchen.
Sparkling Mint Julep
Makes 1 cocktail
4-6 mint leaves
1 ounce bourbon or Cognac
½ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce lemon juice
3-4 ounces 14 Hands Brut
Dash of bitters
Muddle the mint leaves, bourbon and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Strain the muddled liquid from the cocktail shaker into a glass. Add the lemon juice, 14 Hands Brut and bitters. Top off with a mint sprig and crushed ice.