Gary Hogue, owner of Hogue Cellars in Washington, did an industry only dinner at Mirabelle on April 24, offering many of us the opportunity to try a few inexpensive (under $15) wines as well as a $24 Cab Reserve. Pick of the night among the wines were the Hogue Cellars Genesis Chardonnay ($14), a wine with plenty of acidity to pair up with the big fruit and moderate oakiness. The Hogue Cellars Genesis Merlot ($14) was exactly what an inexpensive Merlot should be: dark plum fruity with a hint of green pepper.
We had a short but lively discussion about Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst's proposal to open up all restaurants to allowing diners to bring in their own wines. One restaurant manager said, "Perhaps they should be able to bring their own steaks to my steak house?" Another said that it would create havoc and end up closing a few. Gary Hogue said that in his home state of Washington, they have the same law and it hasn't hurt restaurants or wineries. We shall see.
Finally, Michael Vilim mentioned that we should be listening for news about him moving into a couple of new restaurant ventures. At least one will have to do with creating international types of street food. He seems very passionate about the idea, enough so that he has been working on recipes and picking locations.
The pictures at the top are of Gary Hogue, regaling us with stories.