As I mentioned in a recent post, I enjoy wine. For years, Mamala's been mentioning that my taste in wine is... well, let's just say in the less than $7 range (Pink Andre, anyone?). I'm pretty sure that what's been keeping her from crowning me as her favorite child.
I'm having a significant birthday this year, and I decided that-- as one gives up Boone's Farm when one finishes undergrad-- it's time to expand my palate and branch out to... let's not say higher quality (because Pink Andre will always be my favorite), but to more expensive brands. I've managed to up it to $12-- recession pricing, yo.
In addition to my "emergency trip to the grocery store after a bad day" buys, I love hitting up The Curious Grape. They have a great selection and the staff is both extra nice and knowledgeable. Their special tasting classes are a blast, too. It's a place where you don't have to be a connoissieur to feel like one: basically, you know you're going to walk out with a good bottle of wine and your friends will think you're a hotshot.
While I was in heavy dog-searching mode last summer, the Human Male and I went in there and discovered Dog House Wines. Their wine is pretty good, it's in a great price range (I think around $11 or $12). And the best part is, they donate 50 cents of each bottle to Guide Dogs for the Blind, which provides training and guide dogs to visually-impaired people, free of charge. I was kind of wishing I'd had some Depends on when I realized that I could support a non-profit dog organization by drinking wine, I was so excited.
In the months since, I've come to learn that there's a pretty strong connection between pet lovers and wine. Wineries that allow dogs aren't too uncommon, and there are actually now number of coffee table books of winery dog photos (this is just one). I had no idea! I don't know the first thing about running a vineyard, but I have idea of it being a dreamy, laid back, outdoorsy, and sun-drenched profession-- the perfect environment for a dog. I'm sure it's something far less romantic, like they keep rats from drowning in the barrels and the bugs from infesting the cellars or something, but whatever.
Recently I set up a Twitter feed and I love it. While I originally got it as a way to keep in touch with my friends when I'm too lazy to write a full e-mail, it's quickly turned into my easy source to keep up on news items for my interests. Monday night, I was doing my regular minutely check, and Best Friends Animal Society posted one about a special wine they had. After following the link, I discovered that Best Friends has something called Vicktory Wines (through Carivintas Winery, who, by the way, has dog/cat/horse/nature wine clubs, too). Best Friends is the organization in Utah that got 22 of Michael Vick's pit bulls, and the Vicktory Wines (Vicktory-- get it?) have paintings of each of the dogs on its labels. Proceeds from the wine benefit the organization.
Each bottle is a little pricey: $40 a pop. For a Tuesday night, that might be a bit on the high side (particularly when you haven't tasted it before), but I know for certain occasions that's a totally appropriate price point-- especially since it benefits a good cause.
Certain occasions-- like a significant birthday, maybe (ahem, Human Male)?*
*Don't worry, Pink Andre-- while I may love dogs and non-profits, I won't forget you when I have my 30 cupcake celebration.