The Velvet Devil & Hell’s Kitchen

I know…it’s kind of corny…but I couldn’t resist doing a Halloween themed wine post. Especially when you have two labels the have the words ” devil & hell” on them and they have been staring eerily at you for a couple of years…are you getting creeped out? I know I am!

Just to give you the lowdown on both of these wines: 2009 The Velvet Devil is from Charles Smith in Columbia Valley, Washington ( It is 100% Merlot and can be found in any liquor store or high-end grocery. It retails for about $12.

I love the name because I have a “devil” of a time not drinking the whole bottle in one day. It’s very soft in the mouth but has a lot of dark fruit with a little vanilla spice. It is like a velvet security blanket that I know will make me happy and warm….and a little fuzzy.

The other wine is 2008 Hell’s Kitchen…Holy Cow! It packs and punch and let’s you know it’s The Boss!

I bought it on our trip to Paso Robles in California from Jada Vineyards ( It is a Rhone blend (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre which is one of my favorite blends) but Jada added a little Tannat to it. Tannat is powerful grape with earth, smoke and almost gamey aspects. It is very high in tannins. My gums are receding and my jaw is locking just thinking about that grape.

I really liked this wine in spite of the addition of the Tannat. However, I could only drink a little at a time because it was full of bold smells and flavors of black cherry, allspice, clove, smoke, cinnamon, stewed tomatoes, plum, and vanilla. It also burned a little going down my throat but I still enjoyed it; I know…I’m two sandwiches short of a picnic….plus, this wine kept telling me I needed bar-b-que!

Just to let you know that this was not some wine possession; the name “Hell’s Kitchen is actually an homage to the winemaker’s Mom who grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City.

Well I hope that I have not scared y’all now that you know I have a little “issue” with the way wine makes me feel or that I admit they speak to me.

Remember, wine is supposed to be enjoyed, and if your scared of the wine aisle…ask your Twisted Sommelier for guidance.

Cheers Y’all!


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