Sunday, January 29, 2006


Or, time to sample some fine "Whines of the Vine"!

Theolonius McTavish, a dansey-headed, deep-musing, do-it-yourself dendranthopologist, (better known as one who’s just descended from the Tree of Knowledge to learn that it’s time to pay tribute to man’s best four-legged friend in a dilettantish dog-eat-dog world!)

There’s no doubt about it - 2006 is the “Year of the Dog”, according to Chinese astrology.

So you'll feel right at home eating a dog’s breakfast, reading dog-eared books, and learning how to build or live in a doghouse. (The latter item is a recognized substitute for 'the naughty stool' used frequently by ticked-off teachers, nasty nannies, or very vexed vixens…also known as ‘insufferable icky-poos’).

If you're feeling the urge to throw a dazzling "doggone dinner party" to celebrate the “ruff-ruff” year ahead, don’t forget to serve a bottle of your finest, fully-matured, palate-pleasing, vivacious vino.

Forget about those gurgling grape juice jugs full of fancy fizz that accompany a heaping plate of sphaghetti-and-meatballs or conveniently mask the flavor of those ever-popular, easy-to-prepare "hamburger helper" lean-cuisine, family meals advertised on prime-time TV.

Frankly “Purple Pooch Plonk”, “Cantankerous Corgi Cabernet Sauvignon”, “Panting Poodle Pinot Gris”, “Snooty Spitz Shiraz”, “Piddling Pomeranian Pinot Noir”, or “Slobbering St. Bernard Sauvignon Blanc” won't cut it with either the top "hot dogs" or the weiner variety! In a pinch, they work well as mouthwash, but your dog biscuit appetizers need something with a bite more bite and body!

Take my humble advice -- choose something from the following list of “dog" whines on the vine. (Note: A "dog" wine is not necessarily bad in quality but one that is hard to sell and more apt to sit on the shelf waiting for Godot not to mention making the acquaintance of some very boring dust-bunnies.)

Now give these "dogs" the light of day to play. And hopefully they'll impress the paws off your canine companions. So without further ado... here we go:


  • Bad Dog Red (France)
  • Bad Dog White (France)
  • Bad Dog Red (Australia)
  • Bad Dog White (Australia)
  • Bastard Hill, Yarra Burn Hardy Wines (Australia)
  • Big Ass (U.S.A.)
  • Big Dog Wine – Canis Major (U.S.A.)
  • Big Fat & Gutsy, Arakoon Wines (Australia)
  • Black Dog, Bent Creek Vineyards (Australia)
  • Blue Nose (U.S.A.)
  • Bong Bong, Centennial Vineyards (Australia)
  • Brown Dog, Stevens Brook Estate (Australia)
  • Bungawarra, Bungawarra Wines (Australia)
  • Bunnamagoo, Bunnamagoo Estate Wines (Australia)


  • Devi’s Corner, Tamar Ridge Wines (Australia)
  • Dingabledinga, Arakoon Wines (Australia)
  • Dogajolo (Italy)
  • Dog House - Charlie’s Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Dog House - Maxie’s Merlot (U.S.A.)


  • Fat Bastard (France)
  • Frost Dodger, Torzi Matthews Vintners (Australia)
  • Fun Dog, Wild Dog Winery (Australia)


  • His Master’s Choice, Ridgeback Wines (South Africa)
  • Humpers, Tom’s Waterhole Wines Pty Ltd. (Australia)


  • Il Bastardo (Italy)


  • Jezebel, Cabonne (Australia)


  • Lucky Bastard, Samson Hill Estate (Australia)
  • Lucy’s Run, Lucy’s Run (Australia)


  • Marmaduke, Cape Mentelle (Australia)
  • Mad Dog, Mad Dog Wines Pty. Ltd. (Australia)
  • Merlot Over and Play Dead, Livermore Valley (U.S.A.)
  • MoonDog Acre, Moon Dog Acre Wines (Australia)


  • Old Bastard, Kaesler Wines (Australia)


  • Portrait of a Mutt, Mutt Lynch Winery (Australia)


  • Racy Rosé, Bremerton Wines (Australia)
  • Rascal’s Prayer, Beelgara Estate, (Australia)
  • Red Dingo, The Settlement Wine Co. (Australia)
  • Red Dog, Stumpy Gully Vineyard (Australia)
  • Red Nipper, BlueManna (Australia)
  • Red Spot, Penny’s Hill (Australia)
  • Romeo, T’Gallant Winemakers (Australia)
  • Rufus Stone, Tyrrell’s Wines (Australia)
  • Runrig, Torbreck Vintners (Australia)


  • Scarlet, Logan Wines (Australia)
  • Secret Garden, Secret Garden Wines (Australia)
  • Shadow’s Run, Fox Creek Wines (Australia)
  • Siblings, Leeuwin Estate (Australia)
  • Sleeping Dogs, Sleeping Dog Wines (U.S.A.)
  • Snobs, Snobs Creek Estate Wine (Australia)
  • Sparkle Arse, Hidden River Estate (Australia)
  • Sticks, Sticks (Australia)
  • Sweet Panic, Thorogoods Apple Wines (Australia)


  • The Clan, Capercaillie Wine Co. (Australia)
  • The Jump Stump, d’Arenberg McLaren Vale Wines (Australia)
  • The Rogue, Nepenthe Wines (Australia)
  • The Ruffian, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • The Scallywag, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • The Scoundrel, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • The Sticky One, Norse Wines (Australia)
  • The Trickster, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • The Villain, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • Top-Dog Wines, (Spain)
  • Two Tails, Two Tails Wines (Australia)


  • Untamed, Peacock Hill Vineyard (Australia)


  • Vixen, Fox Creek Wines (Australia)


  • Where's Molly?, Maxwell Wines (Australia)
  • Whippet, Longview Wines (Australia)
  • White Nipper, BlueManna (Australia)
  • Wiggy, Bremerton Wines (Australia)
  • Wildcard, Peter Lehmann Wines (Australia)
  • Wild Dog, Wild Dog Wines (Australia)
  • Wild Soul, Wild Soul Wines (Australia)
  • Wise, Wise Vineyards (Australia)

And, if this selection of "fine whine vines" doesn't oblige you to wiggle your nose at every merry mutt in sight, just wag your tail instead!


For those with an insatiable curiosity about all those alien Aussie labels, take a peek at: And for those keen on learning more about those brash, in-your-face, award-winning, red-white-and-blue grape crushers, stop by:

More about those wacky wine labels at:

Our slightly spaced-out sad-sack and party pooch above owes his existence to a very talented Salt Spring Island artist named Julia Lucich - Landing Party Gallery -

Nectars of the gods are not for everyone, so canine connoisseurs should screen their "best of breed" pedigree personality guest list to avoid any unexpected consequences from the inclusion of a grape-cat, plonk-dot, plonko, winebag, wine-dot, wine-head, or vacuous vino.


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