Joe likes to tell people that he rescued me from becoming a Cat Lady. You know the stereotype: the over-40 single woman whose constant companions are an every-increasing number of cats. She may just leave food out on the patio. Or she may be unable to say “no” to any poor bedraggled feline who crosses her path. The latter was me.
Once a Cat Collector
At one point I had seven cats. Most came to live with me as kittens. Two, right after I got a tax refund check. A Russian blue and a black Siamese, I named them Armand and Lestat — Anne Rice’s novels quite en vogue at the time. Alas, the landlord discovered them and promptly requested a pet deposit equal to that of the refund.
Another I found hiding under my car, pregnant. Although I created a perfectly welcoming maternity area for her, she decided to have her kittens in the back corner of my closet. Where the size 4 skirts hung forlornly, waiting for the day when I could wear them again. (Of course that day would never come) While she was a white tabby of sorts, her baby daddy was a seal-point Himalayan. The kittens were easy to give away, but I kept one male for myself, which I named Taz. It was short for Tasmanian Devil – the Warner Brothers Looney Toons cartoon character that whipped around so fast no one could see him move. That was number four.
I found another soaking wet in my garage. Someone had shaved the poor thing, and he had one bad eye. He “sweated” under his front “pits” like an NBA all-star. Number five. At some point two more kittens showed up in the back yard. Those never came in the house. They just ate on the porch.
By the time Joe met me, Mama cat had died feline leukemia, the stray kittens had found other homes, and Taz had taken to climbing. Many a time I would tell Joe (my long-distance boyfriend at the time) that I had to get off the phone to go up on the roof and get Taz.
Now Joe is NOT a cat person. The once bald cat he just called “asshole cat.” By the time I met Joe, I had only four: Armand, Lestat, Taz and the Asshole (sadly, I don’t even remember his name). Imagine Joe’s first visit to my house — where I had not one, but two cat boxes.
We’ve only one cat now, who , after we rescued him from ‘gators, began life in our house as Basquiat. His name quickly turned to Monster, when his inner sociopath reared its ugly head! His current favorite place to sleep is curled up in the dustpan (as picture above.)
What does this have to do with wine, you ask?
The Nose: C’est Pipi de Chat!
A classic descriptor of Sauvignon Blanc is “cat pee” on the nose. Some describe it more politely as “cat box;” others as cat piss. And some like to dress it up with a bit of French declaring it “pipi de chat.” While some SBs have a nose that only a Cat Lady could love, many are more accurately described as citrus leaning toward grapefruit and freshly cut grass. A green-skinned grape, its name comes from the French word sauvage, meaning wild and blanc, meaning white.
Associated originally with the Bordeaux region of France, Sauvignon Blanc is also a component of the famous dessert wines from Sauternes and Barsac. Produced from both Old and New World vines, Sauvignon Blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Moldova and California.
Best served slightly chilled, it pairs well with soft mild cheeses, like chevre, as well as a mixed seafood ceviche. If you prefer traditional wine to sake, Sauvignon Blanc is also an excellent complement to sushi. One of the first wines to be bottled with a screw-cap, it is meant to be drunk young, with many favorites coming from the Marborough region of New Zealand.
Stoneleigh Marborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
The 2010 Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc offers bright, crisp citrus with the signature grassyness, but adds a hint of vanilla on the nose. Once on the palate, you’ll find it crisp, clean and refreshing with balanced acidity and minerality. There is no overpowering cat box aroma, just bright, flavorful grapefruit, passionfruit and other citrus.
By the numbers: 13% alcohol by volume and priced between $15 – $18 for the 750 ml bottle. The 2010 vintage took the Gold in the 2010 New Zealand International Wine Show.
Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for soft cheeses and seafood, but I chose an aged Emmenthal, 3 months’ aged Manchego and a Morfars Brännvinsost which I’m told roughly translates from Swedish as “grandfather on my mother’s side’s burning wine cheese.” The first two came from Central Market; the third I picked up at IKEA. All three paired well.
This bottle came our way as a sample from the good folks at Brand Action Team.
International Sauvignon Blanc Day
Back Stateside, our friends at St. Supery have declared Friday, June 24 as Sauvignon Blanc day. We haven’t tasted their wines in a while, but enjoyed those we tasted a few years ago. St. Supery is in Napa Valley, and has joined with a number of other wineries to ring in the day, including Cade, Chateau Montelena, Hahn Family Wines, including Bin 36 and Huntington Wines and Flora Springs, among others.
To join in the festivities, check out the Event Bright invitation, To see what others are saying, search for #SauvBlanc on twitter. Or share your own thoughts, by adding #SauvBlanc to your twitter posts.