I'l love to blog about Somerville's Ball Square Fine Wines & Liquors' recent expansion and renovation, their superior selection and the expertise of their staff. Anybody who's been there can attest to those. Instead I shall blog about being sassed for desiring a wine with a punny name.
I popped in to BSFW&L on the weekend seeking to pick up a gift of wine for some dear friends. Dear friends who like red wine and cats. The wine is called Chat-en-Oeuf, which is a wine from the Rhône's Côtes du Ventoux, a near neigbor of the pun's object, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I know they'll like this stuff, even if for a superficial reason. The label is illustrated with a cat sitting on a egg, as can be seen on Peter May's excellent winelabels.org site.
"We don't usually carry wines with cutesy names," the reigning clerk opined. I've learned that "we don't usually" often means "I'm trying but failing to be polite about my disdain for your suggestion." No inquiry about what I liked about the wine, no attempted upsell to a different Rhône that might be in stock, higher quality and less punny.
It was a bit like trying to buy "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from Jack Black in High Fidelity. Perhaps sensing my unease at having my choice chat upon, the clerk offered to order it for me. I passed.
Let's be clear, I'm no friend of the pun in general. But I will happily buy silly things as gifts if they make the recipients happy. Smart wine guys like Gary Vaynerchuk and Dale Cruse know that drinking wine should be fun, and they certainly shy away from judging by the label or the name.
I ordered a case of my punny catwine from the Wine & Cheese Cask near Inman Square.