Wine Dogs

Our son Brian is a huge fan of Golden Retrievers. I’ve mentioned before that his dog-friendly company Redtail Technology (shameless plug) got its name from a certain redtailed Golden named Tucker, a beloved family pet who passed a number of years back at 13 years old.

Redtail Technology, like a lot of other firms, gifts its selected clients with wine during the holiday season. Somehow my name got on the initial distribution list for the annual wine giveaway and so far no one has noticed that, year after year, I am still being shipped a corporate gift of fermented grape juice. (Hehehe, shhhh,)

Some recent Redtail Wines

I don’t necessarily drink, or even gargle, with this stuff but I like to collect it for the labels which always feature a…you guessed it…Golden Retriever.

The latest successor to Tucker at our son’s home is a Golden named Jet. He is Max’s bête noire except, of course, he is a bête dorée. :snorf:

Tucker, the original “redtail” was memorialized on the company logo.

I think Tucker’s actual image was used on the earliest bottles of Redtail wine. I don’t know if the more recent vintages (cough, they’re blends) use Jet’s mug or not.

But I digress. Back to the free wine. Here’s a closer look at the Wine Dogs:

The 2017 Red. So far it hasn’t melted the bottle.
The 2018 “Winter White.” The dog’s expression says it all.
The 2019 Reserve. Reserved for what? Not drinking.
2020 went with a “artist’s conception.” Dogsled Red.
My fave – the 2020 Frosty White, with mask.

I sensed that Max was becoming jealous of the attention being paid to Golden Retrievers. He wanted to know why Maltese did not have a wine label of their own.

“I was expecting a Château Pétrus 2010.”

I promised to make a label just for him but when I took a photo to start he acted indignant and walked off in a small white huff.

Perhaps because he realized he was posing with a genuine bottle of TWO BUCK CHUCK fresh from the shelves of Trader Joes.

You betcha – best $1.99/bottle of wine out there. But not up to the Malt’s standards, I suppose.

64 replies

    • Max thinks that’s a pretty clever strategy. That “Buy with One Click” button is dangerous especially if tipsy. Maybe that’s why the default page on my Amazon Prime has been switched to “Pet Products.” Hmmm.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You have too high an opinion of the Malt. If you look closely, under that white fur is a hip flask. He’s been known to sneak a snort or two on chilly morning walks. When he spoke affectionately of “Old Retriever” I thought it was a dog friend, turns out it’s a brand of cheap rotgut whiskey.

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  1. Love these labels! From the Anonymous above, it looks like I drained a few too many bottles! Actually I don’t drink, but if I did, I wouldn’t be able to part with even one bottle because of the label!

    Yes indeed Max, you should definitely have a label. “White Chocolate” perhaps!

    Red tail Technologies sounds like a great company. Kudos to those labels as well as their generous gifts.
    Ginger

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think “White Chocolate” would be a great name for Max’s line of adult dog beverages. The heck with Irish Cream, Max could offer Maltese Cream. Wait, on second thought that doesn’t sound too appetizing. Redtail is indeed a good place – dog friendly, takes care of its employees and is a generous member of the communities where it operates. (Fatherly pride blurb.)

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  2. These labels are great! I have heard of Two Buck Chuck wine, but the nearest Trader Joe’s is 3 hours away from me.
    One of my supervisors used to tout himself as a wine connoisseur…who highly suggested ‘Rex Goliath 47 Pound Rooster’ wine, at about $6.99 a bottle. Yeah, he went for the fancy stuff… And the label is superb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do NOT mock Rex Goliath! Truth to tell that was our go-to wine when we were in Utah which has a somewhat limited availability of booze and strange laws regarding its purchase. Rex Goliath is a wine that punches far above its weight. In California it sells on sale at $4.19/bottle but drinks like a $7 or $8 wine, especially “Free Range Red” which I consider their best offering. I never turn my nose up at a bottle of “The Chicken” as we call it. Call your supervisor and apologize, right now.

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  3. As father of the founder I reckon you are more than entitled to be on the wine list…and those labels are super.
    We used to have a collection of wine bottles with labels produced for the 1998 world football cup – you know the sort of thing, flags,national football strips and, inevitably, a ball. We had ‘acquired’ the collection as part of a job lot of non French wine which our local supermarket could not sell and taking the collection was a condition of the deal. Always keen on health and safety the manager emphasised that we were not to attempt to drink the stuff.
    Over the years the collection seemed to be reduced in size…the odd empty bottle was discovered here and there after visitors had left but none of them seemed to have lost their teeth – perhaps it was slow acting…
    Max needs a labelled bottle to keep up his morale…..I remember one from a local grower in France…’Les cabernets sont au fond de couloir’….

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    • I make fun of “corporate wines” all the time and often they deserve the scorn I levy upon them. In fairness, the Redtail offerings are not all that bad. They are from Windsor vineyards in Sonoma Valley which is one of the top wine producing areas in Northern California, adjacent to better know Napa Valley. I happen to be especially fond of “Meritage” – Bordeaux style red blends made from French varieties grown in California – and while Retriever Red is not a challenger to a decent Meritage it beats your favorite Algerian Infuriator Red simply by not causing blindness in consumers. Throw in some lemon-lime soda and you get a decent wine cooler or solvent. Whatever – folks on the right bank of the Gironde need not quiver in fear of the 2020 Dogsled Red.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, I can’t imagine that the firm would put out rotgut to valued customers and while it might be fun to send bottles of the Red Infuriator to bad payers the odds are that they would like it….

        The practices of some on the banks of the Gironde should make their clients quiver….as a man well versed in the wine trade said to us darkly…’there are reasons they tell you to lay it down as an investment’…

        A man in our village in France used to make an eau de vie that no one, not even the retired gendarme, would drink. He used to make tiny wooden guillotines to go in the bottles. The gendarme recommended his products for clearing drains and on the one occasion I saw it in action the results were tremendous!

        Liked by 1 person

        • That guillotine story is hilarious. I recall from days with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton that the French truly obsess over all matters alcohol-related. Back then, an LVMH employee could get booted if caught slurping Courvoisier cognac.

          I wonder if somewhere there is a museum dedicated to really, really bad wine and booze. I’m talking about the horrific stuff, the stuff of my youth and worse. I’d pay a handsome admission fee to look around. The makers of the Redtail stuff describe their company mission in terms of “innovative client-oriented wine experiences.” How much more warning does one need?

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          • “innovative client-oriented wine experiences.”…I reckon the guillotine stuff would qualify there…

            Grief…the wines of one’s youth…and to think we lived to tell the tale and retained the enamel on our teeth!

            In the great days of the European wine lake Italian producers were supposed to pass the wine through some process to reduce it to industrial alcohol but, while they had the paperwork for same, they were still exporting the real stuff by some means best known to themselves and it would appear in small supermarkets in France in those bottles with five stars and a plastic top. Damn good stuff. On delivery days there would be a rush for the shelves, the better prepared taking one bottle to sample in the car park and if it were good, a note taken of the code number on the label and a return to the shop to clear the shelves. The only time i’ve known the French to be enthusiastic about foreign wine.

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            • On a much smaller scale that’s what happens here at Trader Joe’s. The store specializes in buying end lots of unknown wines, often from places not known for viniculture, the terroir of Azerbaijan comes to mind. Prices are ridiculously low so there’s little risk with trying wines whose origin or name would normally instill apprehension among the bravest of us. Sometimes they strike gold and find an El Cheapo that is genuinely tasty. Next step is to back up the pick-up truck and start loading case lots. Once in a great while we have been lucky to find a rare value like that but it’s always sold out when we return. We’re just not nimble enough.

              Liked by 1 person

              • We used to keep a corkscrew in the car and a few paper cups when making a tour of the ‘end of lines’ shops. At least that way you could scoop the lot if it was any good without having to drive back 50 kilometres to find it had gone.
                We did have some good finds too…the best was a mountain of New Zealand Cloudy Bay at half a euro a bottle – the French being suspicious of foreign wines. The poor old Audi groaned its way home at a very low speed under that lot, but it made it.

                Liked by 1 person

              • From what I can gather, only the upmarket Californian wines are imported…my friends in the country don’t see any Californians on sale.
                I don’t think the French have ever got over Californian wines beating their own in a blind tasting…at one point the fact that the tasting was organised by an Englishman was proof of skulduggery.
                There are articles in the wine press, sniffily pointing to a lack of rigour in Californian classification, and pointing to tastings at ‘wineries’ being akin to a Disneyland experience…they should know as they flock to the Paris Disney in droves…but they have to admit that good wines exist, though only because the vines originated in Europe!

                Liked by 1 person

              • Interesting. There’s still significant deference accorded anything French in the wine community in California. Mostly in terms of vine stock but also techniques. But as you might expect in Freedom Land, Home of the Eagle & Gun, we refuse to acknowledge any superiority in the final product. Goddam it, buddy, our $3 Zinfandel is every bit as good that Frog stuff when you’re eating some cheeseburgers and fries.

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              • The wine press forget how many of the big French ‘names’ bought abroad in order to escape from the rigid classifications of France.
                Another wine to go with a cheeseburger and ‘freedom’ fries would have been one of the best sellers in the days of the booze cruise to Calais – a white wine labelled proudly as ‘Frogs’ Piss’, irresistable for any true Brit. You needed the burger and fries to dull the metallic taste of it…

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  4. OH, what wonderful labels! 🙂 Collectable for sure! They need to be on display! 🙂
    We had a beloved Golden Retriever years ago…we miss him…his name was Stetson. Sweetest dog ever!
    HA, I’m with Max…he deserves better than that! 😉 😀 His likeness should adorn a bottle of Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne!!! 🙂
    Cooper wants me to whip up a concoction, bottle it, call it Hair of the Dog and put his photo on it. He says it would sell doggone well! 😉
    I have a question you could answer…why are there so few alcohols named after women? How come we don’t see Jill Daniels, Junie Walker, Jan Beam, Maria Cuervo… ??? HA! 😉
    Yay for Golden Beasts! 😉
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS…now I’m thinking of good names for dog licker…er… I mean dog liquor…
    Scooby Brew, Ol’ Leghumper, Cold Nose Ale, Man’s Best Friend Beer, Barkin’ Brown, Canine Cream, Tail Wagger Whiskey…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did you know of the cocktail “Hair of the Dog?” Made from Bulldog brand Gin, lemon juice and Tabasco. Wow, there’s so much good stuff in your comment I don’t know where to begin! Firstly I support Cooper entirely in his quest for a personalized beverage. Liquor named after women? How about Old Crow or Devil’s Cut? Kidding…actually there are quite a few cocktails named after women but I could only come up with 4 spirit brands with women’s names: Widow Jane Bourbon ($86/btl!) Queen Jenny Sorghum Whiskey, LeNell Rye and Freya Scotch. Good question!!! BTW, there are over 100 whiskeys listed as being “names for dogs and cats.” I like your brand name suggestions, especially Ol’ Leghumper. Let me know if you ever get a taste of Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne. Aside from the $2 million diamond bottle I wonder if the booze is really that good? I’ve had Remy Louis XIII on several occasions ($3,500/btl) and while it was wonderful, it wasn’t THAT wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It used to be the same here, Monika but then they had a big promotion announcing the “return of two buck chuck!” I love how even Trader Joe’s calls it by that name. They actually reduced the price to $1.99/bottle and promised to keep it at that level as long as they could. Even wholesale buying by the tanker car doesn’t explain how they could get that low but I guess it is as much a loss leader as Costco rotisserie chicken & $1.50 hotdogs, (not that you care about either o those.) 🍗

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, gotta admit I haven’t partaken of either of those deals. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever ‘bought’ and of the two buck Chuck. It’s next to impossible o get into the parking lot at the closest Trader Joe’s to my house a d I think they were out the one time I managed to snag a parking spot. I know…lame. What can I say? 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

        • I always knew you had a more refined tastes. Wine is something that fascinates me but also confuses especially when I venture out of my comfort zone (yeah, yeah start the Mad Dog 20/20 and Ripple jokes.) We have a Total Wine & Spirits Superstore here (I think Denver has it too) with supposedly 8,000 bottles of wine, 2,700 beers etc. etc. I walk in and could roam for hours but wholly moly there are so many wines varieties I never heard of.

          Liked by 1 person

            • If it’s brown, it’s smooth going down. Yes, I’ll admit a fondness for the Spirits category although I’ll say ashamedly that I am not the biggest Scotch fan. (If Devries see this I’ll be pummeled.) But if you want to talk Rye, Tennessee whisky, Bourbon, Irish whisky or any of their friends, well I’m your huckleberry. Especially bourbons, brandies and cognacs!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Oooh…sounds good! Brandy or cognac and what kind of absinthe? This year I’m making limoncello that I will stick into some small bottles and label as “Internal Covid Infusion” for family & friends.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Limoncello is a snap to make but buying the main ingredient can be an experience. Most places don’t have a clue what “Everclear” is and those that do correctly associate it with moonshine since, at 190 proof, it is as near pure alcohol as you can get. (This time I had to settle for the 120 proof version. 😥) I’ve had clerks actually think they were doing me a service by cautioning me against drinking it straight which is like a gas station attendant saying don’t drink from the nozzle. Duh. But a wee glass after dinner is deelish.

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  5. Good goddlemighty, what is this ‘scotch’ of which you speak? Abominations like Johnny Walker? Chivas Regal? The Haig which has killed more men than the General?
    Would not surprise me if you adulterated the muck with ice cubes…
    If you must have a blend, then go for ‘The Antiquary’…….

    Any more of this and I will inflict upon you Kennethh McKellar and ‘The road to the isles’…..any repetition will produce Jimmy Shand and his band with ‘the Bluebell Polka’….you have been warned!

    As to the Irish stuff, I was always partial to Johnny Powers Three Swallows….

    I have discovered alcohol for rubbing into hands without the poison usually added so will soon be fabricating gin from the recipe of an ex SAS man living in Turkey…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh lawsy, lawsy I knew I was in trouble when I dared question the divinity that is Scotch whiskey. Monika cannot keep a secret. I have tried, lord knows I’ve tried, to become an aficionado but it just doesn’t happen. Not that I’m complaining about the experiments which were all pleasant. I’ve tried the Speyside, the Highland, the this and that, peaty and smokey but I still prefer bourbon, brandy and cognac. I won’t stop trying and I confess to having a jug of McCallan on hand for emergency disinfection purposes. I think the problem is hereditary, maybe bad tongue genes.

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      • I happened to be awake…otherwise you might have escaped the wrath of Caledonia which tends to go down with the sun..
        .I like the island whiskys.. while my father’s favourite was Highland Park from the Orkneys…which is now being marketed as something Viking! I don’t think a Viking berserker would stand much chance against father outraged by the insult to his whisky of preference.

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        • My problem with whisky is ignorance. I think if I took time to learn more about their origins, histories, flavor profiles, taste subtleties and such then I could develop the palate to appreciate the many offerings. Also, since none of my family tree hangers were whisky drinkers I lacked the ptoper environment in my formative years which lasted through my sixties, of course. So spare me the Wrath of Caledonia and, instead, take pity on this poor pilgrim shuffling along the road to whisky wisdom!

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        • Here’s what I found Googling:

          The fortified and fizzy sweet wine concoction was produced by E & J. Gallo between 1960 and 1984. And, according to The Drinks Report, “Surviving bottles are extremely rare with unopened bottles, originally sold for $1, valued at between $150 and $200.”

          Suziecreamcheese says, “Man, I could have been a millionaire if only I kept that screw cap on.”

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  6. WHISKY, is spelt, ‘WHISKY’ not ‘whiskey.’ That comes from the Irish being unable to spell.
    Proper whisky does NOT come from Japan! Queen George the IIIrd I suppose…

    Not that long ago Austrian wine makers were caught using anti-freeze in wine.
    This was later turned into pellets and used on Austrian runways to keep them clear.
    No Austrian wine was bougfht for some time.

    In the 1860’s a plague appeared in France and within 20 years almost half the vines had died.
    The plague spread through Europe.
    The answer came when US vines were found to be resistant to the tiny aphid which caused the death of the vines. So US vines were imported, French ones grafted on, and plague ceased.
    The plague in fact probably came from previous US vines imported as experiments in French vineyards…
    US tactics, cause plague, sell answer, some things never change.

    I remain unsure about what part of the Golden Retrievers go into the wine…?

    Liked by 1 person

    • As everyone will admit, I am a reasonable man so I am willing to spell whisky without an “E” in deference to your tender sensibilities; however, in exchange, I fully expect you and certain other kind people (cough, Devries) to forego inserting an extraneous “U” into words such as “favorite”, “glamor.” “honor” and such. As to Austrian wine I imagine the ongoing joke was that the antifreeze added to the taste and character of the product and given a terroir that is at a 70% angle, I’m not surprised. It was good to hear that American aphids saved the day for the French wine makers and, really, clever capitalism is to be admired, right? And as to the dogs, the point is to let the Golden Retrievers drink the wine and then laugh as the already goofy and lovable GRs stumble about the house, sing off key and generally act like my Uncle Pat who had a problem with “the creature” but we don’t speak about that here.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, I won’t file a lawsuit against your son’s company, demanding that they include more Maltese and implying that their festive retriever labels are hate speech against the Maltese. I’m surprised you’ve saved all those bottles. You could have used them as cooking wine. We often look for Christmas art to hang above our mantle, which is surprisingly hard to find. I don’t mean like a nativity scene. Just something fun and festive. Last weekend, we found and canvas of a Santa in front of a mantle, but I’ll be doggone if we wouldn’t frame some of those cute dog labels.

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