Wine touring with your Canine Bestie

July 23, 2012

 

Wine touring with your Canine Bestie One of the joys of living in the gorgeous Okanagan Valley is touring around to local wineries. Who doesn't love sipping great reds, whites and rosés with your best friend? Well, my favorite wine tasting partner is our 10 year old cocker spaniel Maggie. She always smells what I smell, doesn't laugh if I dribble on my chin when spitting, and consistently approves of my bottle purchases. That is, as long as she gets to go along for the ride. We all know that you can't leave a dog in a car for even a few minutes in the Okanagan. My husband, Dr. Jason, has dealt with too many (including some fatally) heat-exhausted dogs. But what are the alternatives when you are traveling with your bud? Well, here are Maggie and I's wine-touring tips:

  1. Take your dog with you into the wine shop. Maggie has actually never been refused entry into a wine shop, and she's traveled to wineries across BC, Washington and Oregon. Wine shops are often air conditioned, and have lovely cool floors for laying on. Of course, this only works if you have a well-trained dog who doesn't pee on the desk or maul other customers. In Canada, dogs can't enter places where they are serving food, but wine is no prob.
  2. Naughty dogs can stay outside. Maggie has an unruly younger brother (our cairn terrier Laughlin) who isn't as trustworthy. So when we travel with him, he usually gets hooked up in the shade under some grape vines or tree away from the winery door where he can be cool and people won't be tempted to pet him.
  3. Travel with plenty of H2O... and ask for more if you run out. We travel with a few water bottles and extra dishes rattling around in the vehicle, but we've also used corner store paper cups and other found materials in emergencies. This means frequent pee stops, but we always walk her off into the vineyard or some other inconspicuous spot to do her business.
  4. Cover the windows. When you are cruising from winery to winery, the summer sun can beat onto the back seat pretty hard. We have decade old window shades with kitty faces on them that just suction to any window... you can find less gaudy version of these at almost any vehicle maintenance or home decor store. (Yes, we will sell them at Pounce and Hound when we open!)
  5. Take breaks. We have discovered some of the most beautiful Okanagan vistas by complete accident while walking our dogs. Explore the vineyards and countryside as well as the tasting room. After all, wine is all about terroir, the place the wine reflects.
Happy wine tasting!   Arnica and Maggie Rowan (featured above at one of my favorite Okanagan wineries, Noble Ridge!)




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