The Hurricane – from the prison to the most amazing wine I’ve ever tasted

The Hurricane has a very special meaning as it is a quite personal story for me about four men, one wine, one song and a movie. I was about to write this post 50 or even more times till now. It took me more than one year to make sure I want to share this quite personal relationship ‘me-Hurricane’ with others.

And today is the day. The day of a Hurricane.


When I think about The Hurricane I have four men in front of my eyes: Rubin Carter, Denzel Washington, Bob Dylan and Mark Hoddy. I think there’s no need for a detailed introduction because you know more or less who they are, at least some of them.

What I want to bring to you is their “hurricane” spirit that plays an important role in my life and was the inspiration to a wine that became my best wine ever: The Hurricane.

Rubin Hurricane Carter 6.05. 1937 – 20.04.2014



Rubin Carter was a famous boxer who spend most of his life in jail. He was wrongly convicted alongside John Artis in 1967 and again in the new trial in 1976 for a triple homicide that he didn’t commit. He was a champion in boxing but he never got his trophy while fighting on a ring. He wrote his first book about his life and boxing career while being in prison. After about 20-years of fighting he won the biggest battle of his life and finally was freed in November 1985. The case was finally closed in 1988.

Rubin died 10 months ago and it was a very sad news for me as I had been planning my trip to Canada to meet him. Rubin Hurricane Carter is a symbol of strength, patience and without him there would not have been any Hurricane in my life.

Denzel Washington playing Rubin Carter (left); Rubin Carter (right); source: internet



Denzel Washington is one of the most popular actors of the world. He is my favourite actor and I’ve seen all of his movies at least twice. In 1999 he portrayed a character of Rubin Carter in “The Hurricane” movie directed by Norman Jewison. Denzel got the Academy Award nomination for playing the role of the boxer. This is how I found out about Rubin Hurricane Carter and this movie pushed me to find more about the boxer and his story. I believe that everything is for a reason…

Denzel Washington as The Hurricane, 1999; source: internet

My deep love to Denzel brought me to Rubin, and later Rubin was a reason that I noticed the Hurricane wine. I still hope I will meet my beloved Denzel one day so we could drink a glass of The Hurricane and I do hope (ciii, it’ a secret :p) I will have a possibility to look into his deep eyes for hours… ;)

The Hurricane Premiere
Denzel Washington and Rubin Hurricane Carter; source: internet



Bob Dylan is a very talented musician and singer although I am not his fan even if I know most of his songs as he is Mark’s best ever musician. Bob was one of many important and famous people alongside Muhammad Ali and others, trying to help Rubin Carter get out of prison in mid 1970s. His visit to Rubin’s cell in prison was the inspiration for a protest song “The Hurricane” (1975) which become a very famous song You can listen to it by clicking on the you tube movie below. (source: internet, you tube; I do not owe any right to this movie)

And this is my favourite Bob’s song. To be honest, it is the only one I can listen over and over again: “Here comes a story of the Hurricane, the man the authorities came to blame for something that he never done, put him in a prison cell but one time he could have been a champion of the world”(1).

Bob Dylan visiting Rubin Carter in Prison, 1975 (Ken Regan); (3)



Mark Hoddy is a talented and passionate flying winemaker. He has been making amazing wine all over the world but his heart will always stay with Roussillon. He is now based in Bordeaux and works with wine mostly in Bordeaux, Loire Valley and Languedoc-Roussillon as a winemaker and wine consultant, still regularly visiting the world wine regions and making wines for top wine producers all over the world.

He is called “a king of Grenache” because of his love to this grape variety and amazing Grenache wines that he’s been making over the years, but for friends he is just “Mark -le Hurricane”. He appears from nowhere, makes lot of noise, behaves like a whirlwind and dissapears, leaving awesome wines as befits for an artist. The more and better I know him the more I am impressed of his knowledge and experience he loves to share with others. Privately I have a pleasure to be part of his private and business life.

Mark Hoddy – winemaker of The Hurricane; pic. Martin Crook



The Hurricane was one of the first wines I have ever tasted while coming to France. I chose it (obviously!) because of its name, The Hurricane. The label was made in a movie-style: all the most important people’s names appear on the label like normally you see on a movie poster.

I said to Mark, who at the time was just a friend and my favourite winemaker, that it is a big coincidence because his wine reminds me of “The Hurricane” movie with my best actor Denzel and my boxer idol Rubin. I even sing a few lines of Bob’s song! He laughed at me but at the beginning I wasn’t sure why… now I know ;) You are very welcome to read the tasting note of Mark’s wine The Hurricane 2012 here – The Hurricane 2012.

The Hurricane, Mark Hoddy. Pic. – Wine Lady

Without a question The Hurricane is my favourite wine! Every time I drink it, it feels like the first time and sometimes I wonder whether it is the wine or it might be because of Rubin, Denzi or Mark? But the truth is as simple as that: I profoundly adore this wine even without thinking about The four Hurricane men! :)

I have a dream that stays at the top of my dream list. I’d like to finally find the book I’ve been looking for many years: “The 16th Round. From number 1 contender to number 45472” written by Rubin Hurricane Carter when we was imprisoned as it is the only one I don’t have. I hope I will find it!

And then I will seat in my favourite place with the vineyards landscape in front of me and I will read his book and I will cry because of his touching story. And only the glass of The Hurricane wine will accompany me.

(( Yesterday while I was finishing the post so I can publish it, it looked exactly like the one above. Today the end of it should be a bit different: my beloved friend Glyn made my dream come true! I don’t believe in coincidences, everything is for a reason and if you believe deeply enough in your dreams they will become your reality, no matter what! And it did happen to me, again! :) So what I am going to do now is to open the Hurricane and enjoy both “The 16th Round” book and ‘The Hurricane’ wine. ))

“Now the only chance I have is in appealing directly to you, the people, and showing you the wrongs that have yet to be righted – the injustice that has been done to me. For the first time in my entire existence I’m saying that I need some help. Otherwise, there will be no more tomorrow for me: no more freedom, (…) no more Rubin-no more Carter. Only the Hurricane. And after him, there is no more.” (2)

The Sixteenth Round. From number 1 contender to number 45472. Rubin Hurricane Carter. (2)


  • (1) Bob Dylan’s “The Hurricane” song.
  • (2) “The sixteenth round. From number 1 contender to number 45472”, Rubin Hurricane Carter, ISBN: 978-1-56976-567-8;p.336-337;
  • (3) “Hurricane. The life of Rubin Carter, fighter”, James S. Hirsch, ISBN: 1-84115-130-0.

I am not the author of part of the photos and I don’t own them. Photos of Rubin Carter, Rubin and Bob, Rubin and Denzel come from books (listed above) and internet ( A photo of Mark Hoddy is owned by Martin Crook and you are very welcome to check Martin’s website with his amazing photos and also you can check Mark’s website to find out more about his wines. Photos of Denzel Washington are from Polish movie website For those who want to find out more about Rubin’s boxing career there’s a link:

Rubin Hurricane Carter; source:


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