What is it about dogs and wine that goes so well together? Maybe good taste and big hearts bring out the best in those of us who love both a Cab and a Lab.
I’ve written before about the Dog Lovers Wine Club (www.dogloverswineclub.com) that sells California wines with dog art labels to support animal shelters and rescue groups. Now here’s another one, Cru Vin Dogs (www.cruvindogs.com) of Englewood, Colorado. The logo is a Labrador retriever-looking canine with its nose to the ground, reinforcing the company’s motto of “tracking down great wines for good causes.”
The founders wanted to find premium wines around the world, sell them directly to customers at reasonable prices, celebrate art appreciation and reinforce a social conscience by donating a portion of profits to dog-related causes. And at less than $20 a bottle for the “Puppy Series,” these small-lot, California and New Zealand wines are a great deal. The puppy series labels are charcoal sketches of cute canines, including a chocolate Labrador retriever that looks a lot like the one I just brought home last week.
The full-color portrait series will focus on red varietal blends and each label will honor a real dog with a special story. The inaugural $26 Cabernet-Syrah blend salutes Yogi, a Denver-area bloodhound whose work in finding missing children led to the founding of the Allie Foundation. The labels are the work of artist Jay P. Snellgrove.
In addition to the Labrador retriever Sauvignon Blanc and Yogi the Bloodhound Chardonnay, the 2006 Golden Retriever Chardonnay is now available and the German short-haired pointer Best of Show Cabernet will be available this summer. When each bottling is gone, the labels are retired, making the art work collectible.
If you can’t get enough of wine and dogs together, spend some time on the web site of Wine Dogs, (www.winedogs.com), a collection of photos, stories and merchandise about vineyard dogs around the world and the people who love them. Check out the purple Wine Dogs ball cap for just $19. Too cute.