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VOL. 125 | NO. 100 | Monday, May 24, 2010



‘Mystery’ Table Wine Offers Bargain

FREDRIC KOEPPEL | Special to The Memphis News

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The Hogue Red Table Wine 2007, from Washington’s Columbia Valley, is somewhat of a mystery. I received it as a sample from the winery; yes, friends, that’s what happens when you write about wine – it gets delivered to you! How cool is that?

Anyway, I contacted the local wholesaler that handles Hogue to see how much of the stuff was out in retail stores, and was told that some bottles had been shipped to them by mistake; they had never heard of it before. And the wine is not even on the winery’s website! This IS mysterious!

Let’s cut to the chase, though, and establish the Hogue Red Table Wine 2007 as a Bargain of the Century.

For Your Very Own Bottle

Buster's Wine & Liquors
191 S. Highland St., $10
Cedar Grove Wine & Liquors
5010 Raleigh-Lagrange Road, $10

A blend of cabernet sauvignon (44 percent), merlot (35 percent), syrah (20 percent) and malbec (1 percent, and where would we be in this vale of tears without 1 percent malbec?), the wine practically reverberates with personality. Ripe scents and flavors of cassis, Damson plums and black cherries smell and taste spiced and macerated.

That roster of gorgeous fruit is wrapped around a molten core of lavender, potpourri and slate-like minerals, all ensconced in a dense, chewy texture that takes its dusty tannins just seriously enough to count as, well, serious. The finish is etched with charcoal, bitter chocolate and wild berries.

Closed with a screw-cap for easy opening, an important point when you’re on a picnic or cookout with family and friends and forget the corkscrew. This wine would amount almost to perfection served with burgers, steaks and sausage pizzas. n

For more about wine, check out Koeppel's blog at http://www.biggerthanyourhead.net.

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