Choosing a wine by name alone is a big risk, choosing a wine because it’s got a cat on the label is a disaster, but I couldn’t resist this label. I chuckled in the shop when I saw it, and thought I’d pick up a bottle, set it aside, and at the first opportunity I had to suggest a wine when Chateauneuf du Pape would be completely wrong I’d suggest this – “oh yes, I’ve got a nice bottle of Chat-en-Oeuf that would be just perfect”. Obviously that only works when you say it, it’s not quite so chuckle worthy when you have to type it out. It’s also thoughts like this that mean I don’t get invited out very often.
When a wine buying choice is made with that level of oenological insight you can’t really expect a lot of the wine purchased. So, on a late summer midweek evening I was able to deploy Chat-en-Oeuf when we were having some pasta with courgettes, lemon and feta. The expected giggles were achieved, although they may have been pity sniggers at my obvious delight.
Here’s where the laughter ended though. My cheapo chuckle wine was really rather nice. Nobody expected that of a wine that has a label with a picture of a cat sitting on an egg (not in the egg as the title implies, but that would be weird, right?).
It was a lemon colour with just a little hint of gold, it had good legs. It smelled fresh and clean with a little bit of apricot blossom and some floral sweetness. It was dry with a medium acidity that balanced out the sweet fruit beautifully, it tasted of apricots and honey, it was medium-full bodied, with a really good mouth feel, despite being bang on the middle for alcohol content.
No-one expects joke wine to taste great but this one did. It comes from the area just outside the Chateauneuf du Pape region, hence the playful name, it’s from the Cotes Ventoux region in southern Rhone, which is always a hit in our cycle racing loving household.
I picked this bottle up from a little independent retailer in Coventry, I think it’s name was “Wine Shop” or something equally uninspiring as it had taken over the store, fittings and half of the sign of the Threshers Wine Shop that used to be on the site. It is available at Waitrose and Morrison’s at about £6 which I think is a steal, so if I don’t get back to “Wine Shop” then I’ll look out for it at the bigger retailers.