Halloween often finds people in a bit of a quandary when looking for a wine that fits the theme, but also creates a positive memory. Rescuing the puzzled this year is the HobNob Wicked Red Blend 2012 Limited Edition. The detail in the label is equaled by the number of grapes blended into this wine; 40% Grenache, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Shiraz and 10% Pinot Noir, all sourced from France. If that list seems like a mouthful, it is in more ways than one as this wine is skillfully crafted into a cohesive whole instead of a lot of discordant flavors that fight against each other.
Twist open the screw cap and pour a glass, at first glance the wine appears dark and dense, but back lit with light it shows a pretty ruby color. The nose rises up with an upfront wall of black cherry and currant with cocoa on the back end. I would suggest letting this wine breathe a bit before serving, it helped to bring the currant and cocoa out from the initial wall of cherry and greatly enhanced the bouquet. After appreciating the nose just sip this wine and notice how it touches all the points in the mouth. Despite the impressive number of grape varietals blended together the HobNob Wicked Red Blend is not a complex wine. The flavor of cherry and berry fruits is supported by a nutty flavor in a finish that moves smoothly from the open to the ending in a progression, like a train of flavor moving down the track of your tongue. Initially there is a sensation of sweetness in this wine but that is soon minimized by tannin wrapping around the fruit and leaving a nice drying sensation keeping this wine from being a simple party quaff and providing the structure to complement a meal or tray of meat and cheese, perfect for the typical Halloween party. If you are hosting a more traditional dinner party have no fear, the lack of heaviness, blend of flavors and tannic quality make this a fine choice to serve at your next meal featuring red meat and rustic vegetables.
The HobNob Wicked Red Blend 2012 Limited Edition is available in our local marketplace, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits in Cape Coral did not stock it, but were happy to order it for you. However, the best deal was at The Fresh Market in Bell Tower Shops which has it on sale for $9.99. The screw cap closure will preserve the freshness for some time if kept out of light and temperature extremes so at that price I suggest picking up a few bottles of this unique wine and share it with friends and family over the next few months of dining and entertaining. Or you could just savor this wine in reflection at the end of the day, either way you are assured of receiving good value for your money.