Wine for cats and other four-legged friends
October 21st, 2013
10:00 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

News that the Japanese company B&H Lifes has started selling a new wine called Nyan Nyan Nouveau, which is made specifically for cats - yes, cats - makes one wonder what, exactly, the rest of the animal kingdom is supposed to do. The feline wine, apparently made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and catnip (though sans any alcohol), sells for $4 a bottle.

I’ll leave aside the bizarre idea that a wine for cats could actually cost more than Two-Buck Chuck, a wine for humans, and return to my earlier question. Suppose, for instance, your local Lhasa Apso is seeking a tasty adult beverage? What if the your neighbor’s pet goat has a craving for booze? Below, a few options for the other members of the four-footed set (which, I’ll add, are all well worth drinking by people, too).

Well, hey, several options here. There’s the 2010 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound ($18), a plummy, tobacco-scented Cabernet blend from South Africa, of course; there’s also the cherry-inflected 2012 Dunham Cellars Three-Legged Red ($19), Washington state winemaker Eric Dunham’s ode to his three-legged dog, Port (who passed away in 2008, but is memorialized again with each new vintage). Both would be appropriate for sipping while reading a copy of "Wine Dogs," an entire series of books devoted to photographic portraits of winery dogs.

Not that many people have pet goats, but those who do, and specifically those who own wine-loving goats, might want to pick up a bottle of the 2012 Goats do Roam White ($10), a fruity South African blend of the Rhône varieties Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. (And in case you were under the impression that goats don’t like wine, check out this rather amusing video from the Azores.

To my mind, there’s some question as to whether a pig makes much of a companion, but in case you happen to have any pig-loving pals in search of an appropriate quaff for their pet porker, there’s plenty to choose from. Wild Hog Vineyard, a small organic estate on California’s Sonoma Coast, makes a number of impressive wines - try the brambly 2010 Wild Hog Vineyard Estate Zinfandel ($24). On the other hand, perhaps a pig would prefer a beer. In that case, a great option is Russian River Brewing’s hop-intense Blind Pig IPA. It’s one of the best IPAs around - so good even a human would love it.

More from Food & Wine:

Dogs Dining Out

Best Napa Wineries to Visit

America’s Dog Friendliest Cities

Montreal in 10 Food and Wine Pairings

Hybrid Coffee Shops

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Pets • Sip • Wine

soundoff (54 Responses)

    this was one good article.

    November 2, 2013 at 7:52 am |
  2. RC

    I wonder what the legal drinking age for cats is. Where would they keep their ID?

    October 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Truth™@RC

      In their purrrrrse...

      October 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • RC@Truth™

        I guess that makes purrrrfect sense.

        October 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • Thread Dom®

          If at first you don't succeed, keep trying 'til you do. ~_~

          October 24, 2013 at 6:38 am |
        • RC@Thread Dom®

          If some is good-then more must be better, I always say.

          October 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        You two should go on tour

        October 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • RC@Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

          We try.....

          October 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • Truth, from the casa...

          "We all try, you succeed." – Rick from "Casablanca"

          October 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  3. jj

    No, he can only have it if he buys it for himself

    October 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • RC

      Don't want to be an enabler, eh?

      October 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  4. Alan

    Giving any form of alcohol to an animal will destroy their liver and is called animal abuse. Don't let greedy merchants cashing in on human misconceptions about animals fool you into harming your beloved family member! Their metabolism and biological processes are NOT human and animals DO NOT consume alcohol. This is basic Evolution 101 folks. I find the concept of wine for cats or any animal cruel. Many pets will eat anything and often die from eating or drinking the wrong thing.

    October 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • RC

      So you really didn't read the article. It specifically stated "sans alcohol". Sans=without. Perhaps you should try some.

      October 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  5. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Cat: the other white meat.

    October 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • RC


      October 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Ryan

      I recommend you pair it with a meowlot.

      October 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  6. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    i can haz Zinfandel?

    October 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Feline Wine?

      Pinot Meeowir

      October 23, 2013 at 7:19 am |
  7. Bad business

    Grapes are toxic to cats and dogs. This business is setting themselves up for some serious lawsuits.

    October 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • What Now

      No kidding! What are people thinking? This is as bad as owners trying to feed their dogs and cats vegan diets. Poor pets.

      October 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • No_way

      Grapes are not toxic to dogs. Mine eat them all the time without any negative side effects.

      October 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Alan

      You are so right. When a wealthy person loses their beloved family member, I hope they get the best attorneys money can buy and sue these companies into bankruptcy. That will put a stop to this abuse in a hurry.

      October 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • from Snopes

      October 24, 2013 at 6:36 am |
  8. Janeqdoe

    If my cat asked for wine, I would buy it for her.

    October 22, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  9. Janeqdoe

    If my cat asked for wine, I would buy it for her...

    October 22, 2013 at 12:11 am |
  10. UriNation

    A gentler form of antifreeze.

    October 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
  11. blue rabbit

    It can't get weirder than this...

    October 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  12. Burbank

    Looks like too many spoiled Japanese have too much money on their hands. How about using it for a good purpose in the world instead of wasting it giving your cat diabetes from sugary wine? If God intended for cats to have sugar there would be candy coated mice. Oops! I don't need to give them any more ideas!

    October 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  13. karinrosner

    Coincidentally, I had a glass of 2 Buck Chuck in my hand the other night, a cheap Cab... and who was going crazy over what I had in my glass? Yep. Her name is Khaleesi. She is barely out of her kitten years, the little lush. She did not get any of my plonk, but somehow I don't think you need to add catnip to an inexpensive Cabernet Fauxvignon to make it attractive to cats.

    October 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  14. Proud cat parent

    So many cat hater. Cats are not mean they just as loving and caring as dogs. Stop the hate. Anyway it does say "sans alcohol " which means no alcohol in french.

    October 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • What Now

      The alcohol is the least of your problems. It's the grapes.

      October 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Dunham

      Cats are not as "anything" as dogs. Dogs are dependent, easily trainable, willing to please and come when you call. Cats are the antithesis: independent, difficult to train (ever seen a seeing eye cat?), and come only when the familiar sound of preparing their food hits their ears – not when you call them.

      As far as loving? Everyone, pets & humans, love in different ways. You don't pick the next person you see to be your spouse / mate / partner. You pick the person who loves you the way you want to be loved – and vice versa.

      October 23, 2013 at 7:17 am |
  15. Bobpitt

    Grapes are toxic for dogs and cats? great now I know what to feed my neighbor's cat...

    October 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Proud cat parent

      Mean , don't hurt the harmless animal. Have a heart

      October 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • Christian C

        Shut up ass hole, don't try to tell other people how they should feel! If he wants to do it, he should

        October 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • Mike

          Uhhh, no, don't mess with someone else's pet. If I saw someone giving my dog or cat alcohol they're going to have a problem.

          October 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • Truth™

          Sure, no problem. Perhaps we can also try the same with your annoying kid...

          October 22, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • richard miller

        Cats are pieces of sh** wrapped in fur

        October 22, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • Truth™@D!ck Miller

          Much like you, without the fur of course...

          October 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  16. Landon Payne

    Why would you give a cat wine? All the do is SLEEP all day anyway

    October 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Bobpitt

      I would never buy wine for a cat, but I would buy it for my puzzy

      October 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  17. Landon Payne

    Why would you give a cat wine anyway? All they do is SLEEP all day.

    October 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  18. Lynne_in_Canada

    As has been mentioned, grapes are toxic to dogs, and might also be toxic to cats.

    It bears repeating, seeing as it appears that some people don't already know this.

    October 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  19. lapushka

    Grapes and raisins can cause sudden kidney failure in cats and dogs. So, yeah...brilliant product.

    October 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  20. Truth™

    My cat needs wine like I need a double hernia.

    October 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  21. Boo

    Save your money......catnip alone is a great treat for cats. What a ridiculous waste of money.

    October 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  22. T

    Seriously ?
    Just what we need....mean drunk cats weaving and smashed out of their gourds: trashing everything and everyone plus puking up on the floor/ground....
    No. Not a good idea....

    October 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  23. jj

    The Apocalypse has officially come.

    October 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  24. Bad Idea

    Umm, you do realize grapes (and raisins) can be toxic to dogs? Not to mention the alcohol. REALLY bad idea to imply that people can safely offer fermented grapes to their dog. Perhaps the author should clarify that people actually should NOT offer these to their pets.

    October 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  25. Jeff

    Would Cats prefer a Cateau Lafite or a Cateau Margaux?

    October 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Dunham

      Enough of either and they become catatonic – maybe that should be a gin & catatonic.

      October 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  26. Cat Sips

    So does a cat prefer a Merlot or a Cabernet? This is for people with too much money and time on their hands. The same people who take their animals in for therapy. I think it is the master that needs their head examined.

    October 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  27. Z_nips

    "Wine for cats"? So now they can throw up even more than they NORMALLY do, is that it? Um, no thanks.

    October 21, 2013 at 11:36 am |
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