Gypsy Canyon Wine with Thai Dogs: Match Made in Doggie Heaven

A perfect recipe for the dog days of summer!

Thai Dogs

1/2 pound cups fresh squid, cut into bite-size rings

1 large onion, chopped

2 chopped garden beetles

4 ounces Việt-Huong Fish Sauce

2-3 fresh Thai chili peppers

2 Tbsp molasses or honey

1 Tbsp ground Lesser Galangal (substitute Siamese ginger)

As many hot dogs as you have people to serve

Buns for the hot dogs


Dog goes in bun, squid/beetle chili goes on top, sprinkle on chopped red onion and shredded cheese, and have at it!

Serve with Gypsy Canyon Winery ‘Ground Boots’ Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, 2012 ($70)


Deborah Hall

Deborah Hall

Deborah Hall, Gypsy Canyon’s winemaker, hates me.  But she doesn’t know it yet, because more than likely, you’re reading this first.  That means you can hate me before she does!

Why would you hate me?  Because I am making jokes about a very humane, very sincere woman who recently began a heartfelt campaign to save Thai dogs from Thai chefs in Thailand.

If you are like most Americans, you wouldn’t eat dog meat even if you’d just thaied-one-on with several bottles of Gypsy Canyon Pinot Noir, which (price-wise) would have set you back the equivalent of a purebred Golden Retriever puppy.

Too sweet to eat; too cute for charcut...

Too sweet to eat…

We don’t eat Golden Retriever puppies in the United States and we don’t believe anybody else should either, no matter how hungry they are.  Ditto for designer cats.  Cannibalism is less distasteful to our nation of carnivores than petbalism.

Many of us feel strongly enough about this ideology to support Deborah Hall’s dog-free diet by drinking her Pinot Noir, even if we never fantasized about the bon vivant lifestyle of a vet like she did:

“As a child, I always wanted to be a veterinarian, so I went back to those roots,” Hall recently told the food columnist for the Santa Barbara Independent.  “I wanted to make an impact that wasn’t just making a donation somewhere; the next thing you know, I have a whole label with grand plans.”

soy dogsThe Grand Plan appears to be making a donation somewhere: Specifically to the Soi Dog Foundation, an ‘honest, grassroots organization’ dedicated to eradicating the illegal sale of dog meat in Thailand, and not (as the name suggests) to eradicating the sale of unpalatable tofu hotdogs—a foundation to which I’d gladly donate.

Profits from sales of her Ground Boots 2013 Pinot Noir will go to Soi Dog, and Hall maintains that ¾ of her hundred case production run has already been sold.

Soi-Dog-Foundation-TH6She justifies spending money on Thai dogs when little American dogs are going to bed hungry like this:  “You can save 10 dogs in Thailand whereas you can only save one here for the same dollar.”

For those of you who spent Economics 101 in the john smoking wacky tobacky, that’s called ‘economies of scale’.

All Dogs Go to Heaven Except Buddhist Ones: They Don’t Believe in Heaven

On paper, saving dogs is a noble cause, but before I shell out seventy simoleons for a fifth of Gypsy juice, I want a better definition of the word ‘save’.

Dangerous-Dog-Breed1Street dogs in Thailand (called ‘soi dogs’—‘soi’ is Thai for ‘alley’) are such a problem they have their own Wikipedia page.  The reason for this is that Buddhist principals forbid the euthanizing of stray animals, thus, populations grow unchecked, and many of the street dogs of Bangkok are vicious, many have been maimed by traffic and some are rabid.  They’ve been known to attack people, including those on the way to the black market butcher for a pound of illegal dog steaks for the weekend barbecue. The city has adopted a pro-life dog policy, although regulations also forbid the feeding of stray dogs in public places, which—unless I am missing something critical here—means that, thanks to government intervention, the feral and diseased alley dogs are hungrier than ever.

Let’s see how the ‘Canine Lives Matter’ movement has worked out in the United States, using a quote from a staunchly Pro-Euthanasia web site:

“It’s appalling to contemplate, but when shelters give in to pressure to go ‘no-kill’, the results are often far worse for animals than a peaceful death through euthanasia. Here’s what happens: In San Antonio, Texas—which is striving to be a “no-kill” city—the bodies of nearly 16,000 dogs were scraped off the streets in just one year. One animal control officer termed it “euthanasia by proxy.” 

'How much is that doggies in the window?'

‘How much is that doggie in the window?’

How many hungry Thai mouths would those dog scrapings have served if it was legal to make them into hot dogs (or, as they’d be technically known, ‘hit dogs’)?  According to the 2010 census, San Antonio’s Southeast Asian population numbers nearly four thousand.

And by the way—do you know whose web site I just quoted?  PETA’s.


Weenie & Cecil

L.: Cecil R.: Walter palmer

L.: Cecil
R.: Walter Palmer

There’s been a lot of smack on social media over that Minnesota dentist who popped a cap in Cecil the Lion’s trophy skull last week; big game hunters are earning the increasing ire of people who find the ‘sport’ repulsive.  When you ask them why they do not get, say, a billion times more pissed off over the billion animals slaughtered in the United States each year for food, they say that I’ve answered my own question: Food.  The fact that the bodies of these animals are going to be consumed by human beings somehow excuses the meat processing industry and all the attendant death; the fact that all Walter Palmer was after was a taxidermy mount does not.

So be it.  Then, wouldn’t the idea of Gypsy Canyon’s Ground Boot campaign being waged specifically to prevent wild animals from being eaten be in direct opposition to those Kum Ba Ya sentiments?

Of course it would.

ClipboardThe deal is, Cecil was cuddly-looking, stuffed-animal cute and entirely inedible in appearance.  For that matter, so is Fido and Spot and Old Yeller, even with the rabies.  Your average pork chop, on the other hand, grilled over an open flame and smothered in caramelized onions and Dijon butter, makes you salivate—so long as you avoid thinking about Porky Pig kissing the sledgehammer of some minimum-wage Schlachthaus pogue.

But you know, pigs are said to be even smarter than dogs, and everyone who has ever kept them as pets swears by them.  Yet…

“In order to get the terrified pigs onto the trucks bound for the slaughterhouse, workers may beat them on their sensitive noses and backs or stick electric prods into their rectums.

Crammed into 18-wheelers, pigs struggle to get air and are usually given no food or water for the entire journey (often hundreds of miles). They suffer from temperature extremes and are forced to inhale ammonia fumes and diesel exhaust. Pigs are packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually comes out.”

I won’t ask this time:  It’s another quote from PETA.

Deborah Hall’s web page begins with a glorious observation attributed to Ben Franklin, who may or may not have eaten dog in the guise of Poor Richard:

“The discovery of a wine is a greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.”

johnnyrebeck (1)Never mind that Bangkok is too filled with dogs; go ahead and support Ground Boots as your Feel-Good Gesture of the Month.  You’ll get a knock-out bottle of wine in the bargain and probably sleep easier knowing that you’ve saved some poor stray from Johnny Rebeck’s machine.

But in evaluating the timeworn human-animal love/drool relationship, I’ll leave you with another wine quote, this one from George Bernard Shaw:

“A mind of my caliber cannot derive nutrition from cows.”


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5 Responses to Gypsy Canyon Wine with Thai Dogs: Match Made in Doggie Heaven

  1. stella Pan says:

    Interesting post and interesting pairing! The author’s words are very funny. And I am also wondering how the tasting experience is. Thank you for sharing with us!

    Stella Pan
    The Wine Elite

  2. Chris:

    Your talent for irony, not to mention for exposing the crappy side of other people’s logic is quite refreshing.

  3. Maybe “you’re safe” would have been a better way to put it.

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