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Oak Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 

Tucker’s Place
2117 South 12th Street

All the animals, birds and fish will live in fear of you," says the book of Genesis. "They are all placed under your power. Now you can eat them, as well as green plants; I give them all to you for food." And according to the Bible, just like that, God waved a turkey leg in Noah's direction and permitted him to become the first meat-eating human being. Presumably, God waited until after the Great Flood to do so lest his ark become less of a floating zoo and more a floating meat locker. Working backward, that'd mean Adam and Eve were vegetarians, their Garden of Eden more accurately a Garden of Eatin'.

As for us, we'd make fine vegetarians, right up till lunch. But come midday, we don't usually order "just a salad." But we did, and this sent our inner carnivore into a ravenous frenzy, commanding us to procure a medium-rare filet mignon. We won a gift certificate to Tucker's Place a while back and were saving it for a rainy day, and this was it in every sense of the word.

Tucker's in Soulard stands right next to John D. McGurks. Esquire named McGurks one of the best bars in America in their June issue. Tucker's has no such accolades from that magazine, but an illuminated sign behind the bar touts their "award winning quality steaks" and the lack of punctuation between the words seems to give it an inferiority complex which we, geekily, find amusing: "Well, the steaks aren't 'award-winning,' per se," it seems to demure, "but there are some qualities about them that might be."

Tucker's has a nice selection of beer, a less-nice selection of wine. But that's not why we're here anyway, so no matter. Still, we order a half-carafe of their house Cabernet, Oak Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, a bargain at $9.75. It's a nice-enough (if a bit dull) complement to the meal, though its most outstanding quality is the sheer amount that's put on the table in front of us. We always thought that "half-carafe" translated roughly into "eh, a little more than two glasses of wine." Actually, "carafe" is thought to come from the Arabic word "garafa," which means "to ladle." And ladle we did, pouring the wine into our glass over and over and over.

Naturally, Drink of the Week's favorite Bible story is the ol' water-into-wine miracle at wedding of Cana, and we thought of this as the carafe seemed to replenish itself from some secret chamber within. Muscling our way through the shrimp appetizers, the genetic monstrosity of a baked potato and the fist-sized filet itself, we refilled our glass at first with gusto, then less so as, the carafe (like our stomach) remains largely full, never receding.

We've long considered it to be something of a sin to leave a drink not fully drunk, but this carafe was one of biblical proportions. Miracles of miracles, we left a third of it on the table and stepped out into the cool night air. The rain, we notice, had stopped.

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