A guest post by Philip
This is not a discussion about the origins of wine, but a story about a recent experience involving wine. Over time you may find this to be thematic of my future postings, as it seems to be one of those hobbies that constantly offers new opportunities. My latest trip is an example of part of my ongoing wine hunt.
Even though Grace could not travel with me on this business trip, as we’d originally planned, I had a surprisingly enjoyable evening on my first night out.
I was in San Antonio Texas and as usual my choice of hotel was based on what was affordable, yet within certain acceptable limits. I travel too often to put up with extremely low-end lodging but also too often to spend a ton of money every night. On this particular trip, the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown San Antonio won my business at an amazingly low $80/night.
Since I had meetings in different cities in south Texas, I flew into Austin then drove to San Antonio for an early morning meeting the next day. I decided that since I’d be answering emails and working from my room, I’d just find my dinner at the hotel restaurant.
The restaurant was your typically chain hotel café/bistro. Since it was relatively near the Riverwalk, I was not surprised to find that I was one of only 3 patrons in the hour I was there that evening. I picked a Southwest Chicken Salad, the Chicken Tortilla soup and the house Cabernet.
I hadn’t had this particular Cab before, but by the glass options are not always great, so I had limited expectations. As the evening progressed, I found that the quality of the food and service at this hotel restaurant was unusually nice. Adding to the experience was the unexpected quality of the house wine. They were pouring a Hogue Genesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. I enjoyed it enough that I put the wine on my watch list, to remind me to find it again someday, and added it to my recommendation list for my friends. Google research after dinner showed it typically sells for about $16.99/750ml. It was good enough that I told Grace about it when we talked later that evening.
A couple of days later, while prepping for a networking event that I help host, I was in San Marcos, a town known for its Outlet Malls/Stores. I saw a large sign for Gabriel’s Wine and Spirits Outlet. As a committed wine hobbyist, I felt compelled take the exit and check this out. Besides, I was on a quest for party supplies.
The first wine I saw when entering the store, on the discount rack, was Hogue Genesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 for $9.99. Needless to say I immediately purchased a bottle and 4 days later, brought it home where Grace and I can share this wine. I wouldn’t want her to feel neglected since she had planned to join me, but at the last minute she could not make the trip. We’ll see if she likes the wine as much as I did!
Phil’s Review of Hogue Genesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: This Cabernet has a nice dark color in the glass, with a bouquet of plum and black cherry. It has a medium body that is well-balanced and fruit forward. On the palate, I tasted blackberry and currant flavors at the core, with pepper, licorice and herbal notes as the flavors linger with mild tannins on the finish. This a good, well-priced cabernet that would go well with burgers and steaks, but for red wine lovers, I would also suggest that the pepper and herbal characteristics paired well with a spicy southwest salad and tortilla soup.