A Toast to Our Pets
Many of us are always ready for a celebration, and even more are also pet owners. So, wouldn’t you know that I would come across a perfect occasion that greeting card companies have yet to fully exploit? Saturday, February 20th is Love Your Pet Day.
And while the spirit of the holiday is to pamper your pets and pay homage to the unconditional love they provide so freely, perhaps it’s a time to look to those wines that make every day, Love Your Pet Day and include them in your celebrations of this special occasion.
These days we have wineries that donate proceeds to animal shelters and humane societies. Others host fundraisers for pet-related causes. And certainly, many vineyards are home to cats, dogs and other sorts of pets. While I love a good animal-related wine label, I can’t help thinking of my friend whose only wine-buying advice is that she never chooses wines with animals upon them. She may laugh as she spouts what she herself knows to be nonsensical advice, but it does give one pause. Sure any winemaker can throw a gerbil, parrot, iguana, cat or dog onto the label, but how do we find one that will pair well with tonight’s dinner? Here are just three really terrific pet-labeled wines to get you started…
Woof Woof for Riesling
Not sure if the label on O’Reilly’s 2007 Riesling is an Irish Wolfhound, but its tropical fruit flavors seem a far cry from Ireland. While German Rieslings in the States tend to be sweeter, this Riesling comes from Yakima Valley, Washington, showing much more like the luxurious German Kabinett Rieslings that don’t seem to export much out of Germany. This is a crisp white with a hint of minerality and citrus flavors that will have you recall that perfect summer day when Fido’s Frisbee-catching in the park also caught everyone’s attention. This wine is as great with fondue as it is with grilled fish, and a superb way to remind you that summer will indeed come again.
A Warm Spot for a Washington Red
Here’s a wine that is the cat’s meow among wine critics who praise its sensational drinkability and value. Bergevin Lane 2006 Calico Red Blend, another Washington wine, has scents of cedar and cherry that lead you into this medium-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc. The wine brings forth berry flavors, vanilla and oakiness and is perhaps just the right homage to celebrate your cat’s favorite climbing tree.
Wine that makes the dog dance?
If you are looking for a chardonnay that knows how to have fun, then perhaps the Hoopla 2007 Chardonnay from Napa is the wine for you. Spencer Hoopes has become known for his wine-making trailblazing, and this chardonnay is touted as a great example of his risk-taking in producing interesting, great-tasting wines. It is a fresh wine with flavors that range from green apple, fig, citrus to allspice. The free-spirited pup on the label is indicative of the light-hearted, fun-loving wine that will have you barking for more.