When you think of the sport of rugby, a lot of associations may come to mind. One of those would likely be alcohol, specifically beer and hard liquor – maybe Australian lagers and Jagermeister. So I thought it was unusual when I encountered a wine made by Lawer Family Wines in Calistoga, CA called “Hooker Cabernet”. I learned that the term “hooker” was actually referencing a rugby position, and not what I had originally associated it with.

In today’s wine market, I think it’s essential for wineries to identify with certain lifestyles, and this is a great example of that. Wine is part of history, and permeates almost every culture in many ways. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a nice glass of wine? Even rugby players do, I guess. When you align your product with certain lifestyles or themes, it makes it easier to connect with customers, and fosters a more direct experience between the brand and consumer.

So if you know any rugby players, and want to find a gift that’s a bit out of the ordinary but will still be appreciated, check out the Hooker wines from Lawer Family - especially the Cabernet Sauvignon. I had this wine last week, and it's a good one. It recently won a few medals, including a Platinum medal at the Sommelier's Challenge. There's a lot of big, ripe cherry on this one. I classify it as one of the "Jolly rancher" wines for that reason; those are the Cabs that taste like candy to me. It's a bit hot though, which isn't a surprise at 15.6% alcohol. But it's a great value at $32, and you won’t be dissapointed.