by Susan Ellis
David Wilson stopped by the Flyer offices yesterday armed with bottles of Hog Wine sauce.
Wilson was making his way up from his home of Madison, Mississippi, to visit his vendors — the sauce is available locally at Schnucks, Ike’s, and Superlo — and to spread the gospel of his creation.
According to Wilson, he came up with this smoky, rich concoction some 30-plus years ago after his one-armed Uncle Fig Newton requested a non-tomato-based sauce. After that, Wilson gave the sauce to his family and friends as presents.
Two years ago, Wilson’s wife made a two-pronged request: 1) that he lose 20 pounds (he’s lost more than 40) and 2) that he begin selling the sauce.
And so he did, and he did it while continuing to work full-time as a psychologist. He was told that if he got Hog Wine in 100 stores, he’d be “stepping away from the crowd.” Hog Wine is now in more than 300 stores in the region, and he’s currently working on a deal to have it carried in a major sporting-goods chain.
And while Wilson blogs and is on YouTube, he’s resisted selling his sauce on the internet. He says it’s a matter of integrity, that he wants to support those places that support his product. When people tell him to enter the 21st-century, he replies, “I’ll stay in the 1975s.”
For this current road trip, Wilson loaded his Honda Accord with 48 cases of Hog Wine. He then put extra air in the back tires to support the weight. “I didn’t want anybody who wants one not to have it,” he explains.
Before he left the Flyer, he shared a recipe for Hog Wine-d portabella mushrooms.
Hog Wine Portabella Mushrooms
Preheat oven to 350.
Remove stems of mushrooms and pour two capfuls of Hog Wine into the mushroom cavity.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
The outcome of the recipe is so good, Wilson boasts, “You’ll send me Christmas cards.”