With the 2008 reds coming onto the market, people are wondering how many of the wines took a hit from the 2008 massive fires

At least that’s the word on the street.

The upside? The perception of smoke taint in some of the reds from Mendocino, Lake and Northern Napa and Sonoma presents some great finds. For example the Chessman, 2008 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir for $14, which is found in some local wine shops. Anderson Valley is a hot appellation and tasty pinots from that region are usually $30 a pop.

To protect bottlings from being a casualty of the fires — many growers sold their grapes in bulk to “blend out” potential smoke taint. The Chessman is a blend that likely benefited from this strategy because there’s no trace of smoke taint in it.

Michael Traverso, co-owner of Santa Rosa’s Traverso’s gourmet market, said he’s personally “proceeding with caution but also looking for deals.”