At Hair O’ The Dog, we taste over 1,500 wines annually so that you don’t have to. While most of these wines are enjoyable, some really suck. Think of us as your personal Secret Service agents, throwing our palates in front of offending wines so that you don’t get hit.
A small percentage of the wines that we taste are truly exceptional values. These are the wines that we buy for you to drink.
They are generally not wines that you will find available for sale at the gas station, the grocery store, or the pharmacy. Some of those aren’t bad wines, but we prefer to support small, artisanal producers who care more about making great wine than they do about marketing studies of the return on investment of putting a kangaroo on the label.
Our Wine System
Some stores organize their wines based upon where the grapes were grown. We guess that’s fine if every customer coming into the shop knows that they want a Haut-Médoc Bordeaux Blanc or a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. But it really stinks for the rest of us who are just trying to find a bottle that we might like with tonight’s pork chops.
So we’ve designed a progressive wine system that makes it easy for anyone to find a great bottle every time.
Our system is better in that it groups wines into eight Flavor Families. Each Family contains wines that have similar characteristics, regardless of where in the world the wines are made. Even better, you can easily match the wines with food using the Flavor Families.
Fresh & Crisp
Light bodied white wines that quench your thirst and are the perfect refresher on a a warm afternoon, or anytime that you prefer something light. These wines for the poolside include Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Vinho Verde. All are great alone, with salads, cheese or light seafood dishes and are superb choices for a picnic.
Soft & Mellow
Medium-bodied whites that are lovely and alluring, yet still quite approachable. Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre & Gewurtzraminer are at their best with shrimp, scallops, fish, veal and Asian foods.
Round & Luscious
Full-bodied whites that are rich, deep and luxuriant. These wines, such as Chardonnay and Vicognier, are whites that even an avowed red-drinker can love guiltlessly. They are robust enough to beautifully complement heartier foods, including salmon, tuna, lobster, chicken and steak.
Juicy & Fruity
Light-bodied red wines that, like puppies, are easy to love, even for red wine newbies. An excellent red to drink by itself, or with light fare on a warm day. Think Pinot Noir, Beaujolais and Garnacha. Also stupendous with salmon, tuna or fowl, this is the quintessential lunch or picnic wine.
Smooth & Velvety
Medium-bodied reds that are supple and elegant. If Nat King Cole's voice was poured into a glass, and you sipped it on a starry night, this is what it would taste like. These wines are unforgettable with veal, pork, game and red meat. Merlot, Zinfadel, Bordeaux and Rioja are all classics.
Big & Bold
Full-bodied reds that are so robust and fulfilling, many regard them as the Kings of Wine. They remind us of a certain TV chef... BAMMM!! Examples include Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo and Syrah/Shiraz. These beautifully complement flavorful foods such as cheese, lamb, beef and game. Great with grilled foods.
Sweet & Decadent
Like perhaps your first lover, these dessert wines are sinful and bad (in a good way). Port, Muscato, Sauternes & White Zinfadel. All are lovely by themselves, served with robust cheeses, or as the perfect end to a meal. Port is particularly wicked with paired with chocolate.
Bubbly & Fun
Sparkling wines, including Champagne, Prosecco and Cava. These are perfect alone or with seafood, hors d' oeurves, light desserts, or spicy foods. The wine of choice for celebrations, though we recommend against spraying them on the heads of your guests.