Wines for party animals – Metro US

Wines for party animals

Smart winos shop early for the holidays. This provides the opportunity to get a feel for the stash, and leaves time to go out and get some more of what’s working for you. It’s no different than listening to your party music before the event — it helps you get in the mood and feel good about your choices.

Over the next few weeks I’ll recommend sparkling, sweet, and a few savoury wines for the big bird, but today I thought we’d cover the party mood. Have some fun with animal named wines that are actually very good.

Yellow Tail, Little Penguin and other Aussie labels rule the new critter kingdom of wines but what I find interesting is the response from other wine countries. Some have come up with seriously good stuff with an animal label.

The JeanJean wine company in the south of France has crafted a wonderfully rich, warm, spicy, exotic red that could be mistaken for something at twice the price. The name (Ted the Mule) is a play on the French expression “mule headed” (tête de mule) and that could describe you if you refuse to try this wine. Goats do Roam is a hot climate rendering of the French Côtes du Rhone wine. It has lots of flavour and warmth with a hearty feeling — and a little smoke, which is usual in South African reds. The winery has goats roaming so the name is genuine, as well as fun.

Both of these wines are perfect winter food partners and winter party drinks. And they provide an alternative to the seen-everywhere animal labels mentioned above.

Don’t forget to also buy anything that’s worked for you over the past year.

  • My book, Billy’s Best Bottles Wines For 2008, recommends more than 200 good, everyday wines that are easily available and affordable. Find it at selected kitchen, gift or book stores, or from my website.

  • Recommendations for this Saturday’s Vintages release are posted on www.billysbestbottles.com(weeklypicks/Vintages).

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Billy Munnelly has been writing about wine for 25 years and is the author of Canada’s largest selling wine book, Billy’s Best Bottles. Sign up for his free monthly e-letter at



JeanJean ’06 Côtes du Ventoux ‘Ted the Mule’


LCBO No.: 665463

Price: $12.95

Fairview ’06 ‘Goats do Roam’

South Africa

LCBO No.: 665463

Price: $12.95