Featured User: Nick Hodne

Nick Hodne is a native of Des Moines, IA. He’s an attorney by trade and currently advises a large financial services firm on legislative and regulatory compliance issues. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, tinkering with his FJ Cruiser, finding the strongest cup of cold brew, and planning his next trip to a new country (Japan for the 2020 cherry blossom season). Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Nick Hodne: I was fortunate enough to grow up with very close family friends who also have a passion for wine. From a young age (attorney answer: 21), I was able to experience wine from many of the best producers spanning a wide range of vintages, regions, and varietals. This allowed me to get a foundational knowledge and appreciation for wine early on in life. As an added bonus, I was nudged to get on some long waitlists so that, by the time I could afford it, I’d be an active member. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? NH: While Napa Valley will always be my first wine love (an Oakville Cabernet is my happy place in a glass), I’ve been pivoting lately to Paso Robles (after a detour to the Columbia valley) for domestic wine exploration. There are so many great up-and-coming wineries to discover and support ( Fulldraw being a current favorite) who have the entrepreneurial spirit and fledgling creativity to experiment with proprietary blends and more of the Rhône varietals. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? NH: A Vinsanto from Domaine Sigalas in Santorini, Greece. My cousin and her husband were gracious enough to share some with me that they acquired after a visit to the producer on vacation. It was a phenomenal dessert wine with massive amounts of tropical and stone fruits and caramel, but with an acidity that still cut through and kept everything balanced. It was such a departure from other dessert wines I’ve had over the years, and it certainly piqued my interest to seek out other wines from the region. D: What is your golden rule for wine? NH: Relax. It’s so easy to become self-conscious about what and how you’re drinking when you start to surround yourself with other self-proclaimed experts. Everyone has a different palate, different preferences, and different opinions on wine and how it should be enjoyed. It’s always a delightfully humbling experience to do blind tastings with The Wine Group in Des Moines. A room of 20+ developed palates trying to place which wines they’re tasting, along with a ringer, within a certain theme and winding up all over the board certainly reinforces that you shouldn’t beat yourself up too much for not having the abilities of a Master Sommelier. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? NH: A Paloma or a Manhattan: up, with Makers, light on the vermouth. Beyond that, I have a broad interest in other beverages outside of the wine realm, whether it’s sipping mezcal, cooking up flavored syrups out of the garden for cocktails, or enjoying one of Iowa’s world-class craft beers (see: Toppling Goliath , Pulpit Rock, Big Grove, etc.) D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine NH: One of my favorite quotes is from Bill Watterson, who opined that “there's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” It reminds me to take that time to unplug and relax, even though you never seem to get enough of it. During the past few summer months in Iowa, a lot of that ‘nothing’ time has been spent on my patio with a fire and a glass of Aesthete Sauvignon Blanc or paper planes Rosé . D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? NH: I’d aim to be an Oakville Cabernet: big and powerful, yet smooth and seductive. Although I may still be trying to find my way right now, I should have a long, well-integrated life ahead.

Domaine William Fèvre

Les Preuses Chablis Grand Cru Chardonnay 2006

Nick H

A more restrained animal up against Aesthete, but provided for an interesting comparison. More rounded, with herbal and pepper notes with the peach, crushed stone, and white floral notes. A little more alcohol here, but the acidity is still very much carrying a youthful spirit. — 5 years ago

Andrew, Eric and 7 others liked this
Sharon B

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Congratulations on your feature!
Severn Goodwin

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@Nick Hodne Congratulations on your Delectable Feature! Welcome to the Team 🍾🤓


@Nick Hodne Nick Great feature on you Cheers 🍷

Shafer Vineyards

One Point Five Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Nick H

Six hours without rain? Taking advantage with a fire and good company. This is drinking beautifully for its young age - cherry and spice; well-rounded and integrated now. Increasingly pleased with this second-tier offering. — 5 years ago

Shay, Andrew and 10 others liked this

Peter Michael Winery

Belle Côte Chardonnay 2016

Nick H

PnP - awesome brightness and acidity right off the bat. Vanilla, oak (more than other ‘16 PMs in recent memory), and minerality in balance with more subdued tropical and tree fruits. Looking forward to having it with the Pollo in Potacchio simmering on the stove. — 5 years ago

Shay, David and 7 others liked this


Dry Stack Vineyard White Blend 2016

Nick H

Bought on @Bill Bender ‘s recommendation and he didn’t lead me astray. Huge nose of peach and apples with more of the same on the palate. This is a SB that smacks you across the face and draws out a long finish. Sad I’ve only got two more in the cellar, but no regrets on signing up for recurring shipments. Bests Bevan’s Dry Stack hands-down. — 5 years ago

Shay, Eric and 5 others liked this
Bill Bender

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@Nick Hodne I think it was @David L who was recommending this and @Aaron Hamrock is absolutely correct
David L

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Simply one of my favorites. Cheers
Nick H

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You have a few glasses of old Cab and you start thinking @Bill Bender gave you good advice instead of Mr. @David L . I blame @Eric LaMasters for having such a good shindig and @Aaron Hamrock for making sure the glasses weren’t empty.

Epoch Estate Wines

Catapult and Paderewski Vineyards Rosé Blend 2018

Nick H

Always a favorite - enjoying a brief reprieve from the rain on the patio. — 5 years ago

Shay, Andrew and 4 others liked this


Millésime Vieilles Vignes Ambonnay Brut Champagne 2006

Nick H

Drank between the Chards and reds for the evening. This is drinking incredibly well - very creamy with nice density. Floral, Apple, and pear notes on the nose with a hint of brûlée. — 5 years ago

David, Chris and 4 others liked this

Paper Planes

Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Nick H

Great rose on recommendation from @Shay A - melon-forward and nice, bright acidity. Great for a warm lake weekend. — 5 years ago

Shay, Eric and 6 others liked this
Shay A

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Love this Rosé!

Limerick Lane

Russian River Valley Syrah Rosé

Nick H

Lighter and brighter than prior years, in my opinion. Digging paper planes a little better back-to-back. — 5 years ago

Shay, David and 3 others liked this


Estate Grown Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Nick H

Infanticide, couldn’t help breaking into the case. Let it breathe for an hour and it drank beautifully. This is always a favorite CA estate PN. Paired great with some skirt steak tacos from the grill. — 5 years ago

Shay, Eric and 3 others liked this

Dominus Estate

Dominus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2002

Nick H

PnP from the bottle. Inky dark with berries, iron, and lavender. Acid balanced and tannins were integrates well. An element of ‘green’ / medicinal notes were present, but didn’t detract from an overall lovely wine. — 5 years ago

Shay, David and 6 others liked this