Friday, April 21, 2023

Wines For Animal Lovers: Sipping These Great Values Benefits Four-Legged Friends

We love California Cab and Oregon Pinot Noir, especially when they support charities that help animals.

Time was when an upstart wine from Australia planted a picture of a kangaroo on its label and conquered the American wine market. After the success of Yellowtail, many animal labels emerged: birds, bears, cows, mice, and pigs. Animals can make an attractive label, but it is what is inside that is the primary attraction for me.

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We recently popped open two wines with an animal theme but with a difference. The labels aren’t simply to draw in the curious, but to celebrate their commitment to helping four-legged friends.

Firesteed 2021 Pinot Noir, Oregon

Firesteed winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley produces an array of Pinot Noir and other wines like Pinot Gris and Riesling. It also has some AVA-specific Pinot Noirs, that highlight select vineyards in Willamette. They also offer a wallet-friendly Oregon Pinot Noir from several sites around the state.

We opened this 2021 Pinot Noir and immediately found a satisfying wine that delivered a great Oregon Pinot experience. The price is a mere $17 and for that, it was surprising to taste cherry notes with a healthy earthiness. Toast and spice round out a silky palate.

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Not only does Firesteed deliver a great QPR (quality price ratio), but a portion of each sale benefits our animal friends. The winery has partnered with Dreamer Horses Colorado,which provides boarding for retired horses on a 100-acre pasture on a family cattle ranch. Firesteed also contributes to the support of retired horses as they live out their best lives surrounded by fresh grass, sunshine, and equine friends.

Bar Dog 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Bar Dog’s Cabernet Sauvignon from the statewide California AVA is a smooth drinking Cab we paired with grilled blue cheese burgers and sweet potato fries. The inspiration for the wine’s name comes from wine creator Terry Wheatley who has a Boston Terrier on her Central California ranch. The dog is a constant companion, like my dog Amber who is laying patiently a few feet away from me while I write this post.

The wine is a delicious everyday drinker. There are no complex layers but at a price point of about $12, it is what you expect it to be: a loyal, friendly, and tasty friend. The expressive flavors of black cherry, cocoa, and vanilla provide plenty of satisfaction right now. There are no heavy tannins and no need to age this wine, which we would suggest should be consumed within three years.

The Bar Dog certainly elevated our burgers-on-the-patio dinner. The winery also takes its commitment to animals beyond the bottle label. For the love of dogs and all they bring to our lives, Bar Dog wines has committed to supporting rescue shelters across North America in partnership with the Petfinder Foundation. The Petfinder Foundation awards grants funded by Bar Dog wines to shelters, helping them provide pet food, supplies, and veterinary treatment for dogs awaiting adoption.

Full Disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.

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