Always a nation of cat and dog lovers, lockdown has made many of us absolutely barking when it comes to our pets. If on any of those long, lonely isolation nights you wished you could share a nice glass of Riesling with Rover or a Frascati with Felix, those prayers have, somehow, been answered. food
In 2016, after rigorous testing on his own cat Apollo, pet industry worker Brandon Zavala created grape-free, non-alcoholic Pinot Meow and MosCato wines, using catnip or catmint to help relax your feline. Further experimenting with valerian root extract and other natural products, he has since developed Meowsling, white Kittendal, Catbernet, Purrsecco, a brunch-time Meowmosa and a Bloody Meowy to add to the original Apollo Peak range.
Zavala also makes Chardognay with organic, all-natural chamomile extract and yellow beet, as well as a Malbark with peppermint. He has experimented with a duck flavoured snack and is trying to perfect a Meowtini. Apollo is now fourteen and in excellent health.
For something more canine, there’s Posh Pooch alcohol-free Tailwagger Red and Barker Bay red, both made by Woof and Brew. These nutritionally-balanced and health- focused pet drinks are produced by the Cambridgeshire-based company using elderflower, nettle, ginseng and black carrot, resulting in vet-approved, non-carbonated tonics. Business consultant and founder of DogFriendly magazine and app Steve Bennett and former brand designer and consultant Lisa Morton also make herbal tea bags for dogs as well as “Bottom Sniffer” beer, made from dandelion, burdocks and bladderwrack. A 12-pack costs £47.
As yet, no one has produced guinea pig lager, gerbil gin or terrapin rum.
If you’re a pet fanatic who would rather have a drink yourself, Leap & Bounds is a new range of south Australian wines inspired by dogs and targeted at dog owners.
The range will launch with a Shiraz and a Chardonnay, with labels showcasing the “inquisitiveness, bravery and loyalty” of dogs.
The Shiraz features ‘Bob’, a masterless dog who travelled thousands of miles as a companion to many train drivers and engineers in South Australia; the Chardonnay champions the legendary ‘Pickles’, a black and white collie known for finding the stolen 1966 World Cup trophy; the Sauvignon Blanc is called ‘Bud’, after the canine companion of Horatio Nelson Jackson, the first man to drive across the US in a car; while the Merlot is named Betsy, allegedly the world’s most intelligent dog.
“The relationship we have with dogs is unique, and the UK has seen a huge increase in dog owners over lockdown, so Leaps & Bounds is perfectly positioned to capitalise on their popularity,” said Lucy Bearman, wine portfolio director for Pernod Ricard UK.