Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Happy Hour

We just got a call from the Township Office alerting us to the “Boil Water Advisory.”

We can’t drink the water? No problem! Perfect excuse to polish off the bottle of blended Cabernet that is apparently all the rage.

Have you noticed? For a few years now (maybe even longer, because I haven’t been keeping track of things like names of boutique wines and micro-brewery beers) it seems that the owners of vineyards and bierhäuser are in a competition for the Cutesy Label Awards.

You know?

The first time I was aware of this marketing ploy was when a friend came to visit with a bottle of Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush. That’s all I remember  – not the visit, not the visitor, not even the quality of the plonk. But the name? THAT I recall.

I won’t bore you with a long harangue on trending advertising ploys, because this is, after all, happy hour. Besides, I am not in the mood churn up any more negative energy than I have today. More than once I’ve excused my mood by referring to myself as a “Debbie Downer”.

Instead, I salute you with my Frisky Beaver.


And I ask you, “What is the name of your favourite brew, whether you’ve tried it or not?”

Or, if you prefer a different topic: have you ever experienced a boil water advisory? No? Me either. This must be 2020.

Categories: Blog Blog Blog


41 replies

  1. I have seen a lot of great names for wines… most which are escaping me at the moment. Back in the day when I actually went inside of grocery stores, I always enjoyed looking at the specialty wines they brought out around Halloween. Lots of fun names and wild label art.

    I don’t usually drink beer, but I remember a brew that we just had to drink when we were visiting Salt Lake City, Utah, back in 2012. The name: Polygamy Porter. The picture on the label was of multiple naked… ummm… cavorting. The tag line? “Why have just one!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That one makes me smile. Gotta love anything that makes one smile, yes?

      Upon reflection, I realize that I’ve been a bit too mean about the creativity behind the branding and labelling of beverages. For one, I’d rather see the colourful and cheeky content than the functional but boring classic. Heck, my Aunt’s painting was chosen for a Gewürztraminer a few years ago. How can I knock that, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beverage advertising has gotten very creative and inventive recently.
    Water advisory happens where flooding happens – you always cross your fingers and hope it isn’t you this time. (and that you have plenty of bottled water stored….and the neighbor’s pool available instead of baths? HAHA)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Maggie…. 😀 One of favorite cheap….I mean inexpensive yet lush, Cabernet’s is the 47 Pound Rooster brand. An old supervisor told me about it. He was a cheap old coot, but darn the wine is not bad!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well …I didn’t know you had a frisky beaver…..I envision you saluting with your favourite beverage with your pants pulled down….yes, I went there….

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think that, regardless of what 2021 may bring, 2020 is forever going to be The Dreadful Year, doncha reckon, Maggie ?
    I thought 2016 was pretty shitty; but now I can’t remember why ! – all things have paled since then ..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh yes,I have lived in several cities with occasional boil water advisories. 😏We normally buy water or use filtered water anyway but it is annoying. While I am not a wine fanatic or aficionado, When I do drink wine I love the Menage A Trois line-any of them but it is a red I can tolerate. Now if we are talking beer, then a favorite beer is dark Dragons Milk. 👍🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t remember the last time I had a glass of wine. Somehow it just stopped being a beverage I wanted…One brand I did/probably still would enjoy is Ava Grace. They have different types, but their rose’ was nice in the summer. I remember laughing out loud in the store years ago the first time I saw Goats Do Roam from South Africa. Not bad wine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been harsh. I mean, if something can make you LOL, then that’s good, right?

      Goats do Roam was recommended to me this summer. I enjoy the South African vintages, especially Rib Shack Red.

      Thanks for commenting, Deb – hope you are doing OK.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A bit off-point — but I’ve always liked the old slang term Panther Piss for hard liquor of questionable quality.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My husband is a musician. He plays guitar. I found a delightful wine with a guitar on the label but I can’t remember the name. It was a fun gift. We rarely drink wine here but there are some very creative brands. I often get cat-related ones as gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We’ve had boil-water notices here, though rarely enough. Also, I now can’t wait to stroll through my store’s wine aisles!


  11. What a fun essay topic, Maggie. Not the boiled water part, of course. I haven’t ever had to do that, but I’ve been on well water for the past 30 years.

    I will occasionally buy a wine with a cute or funny label, but only if it’s in my price range. I just checked the few bottles I have around and they’re all pretty boring. One is called Monogamy and you can’t get much more staid than that!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Now I see the meaning behind your comment at my place today. I like your response to the boil water advisory. Mine would be, “no problem, i have beer.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have experienced a boiled water event. Can be quite sobering – no pun intended!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. No, I cannot recall ever living with a boil water advisory though I do remember visiting cottages where we had to bring in water, so I guess that’s similar. How long will the advisory last, do you know? As to the “Cat’s Pee” wine, I remember that one! Can’t recall if I liked it though. My new favourite is a NZ Sauvignon Blanc made by Stoneleigh. I buy it at our local Farm Boy. One bottle a week. I don’t quite drink it like water, yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t know how long the advisory will last – we had a huge rainfall event the day before – possibly a flood or breach of some kind at the waterworks. Plenty of chatter on social media, but nothing informative.

      Interesting that you, too, recall the “Cat’s Pee” brand, but not your experience of it.


  15. I’ve lived where we’ve had boil water advisories. It’s weirdly disconcerting but doable. As for cutesy labels on wine bottles, in my experience the cuter the label and vineyard name, the more likely that the wine is plonk.


  16. My favorite Sauvingnon Blanc, that I have been drinking for over a year, has a tree on the label. I literally do not know its proper name, I just look for the tree. I also tried some other sauv blancs — sea glass on the label, horses on the label, blue with white writing — but the tree is the best one.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hehe, so many funny and pretty names out there that only confuse me when I want to buy a bottle. I’m sorry about your boil water advisory. What was it for? Was it corrected permanently?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve been involved in one or two boil water initiatives, but it was quite a few years ago and in another state. I’ve had some delicious but weird named craft beers. This year since we’ve been at home, I’ve stuck with my standby – Blue Moon. 🙂


  19. Just when you think 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, you’re slapped with a boil water advisory. It immediately brought back memories of Walkerton … good grief, I just looked it up and it was over 20 years ago. Hell – when did we get so old?

    Sadly, I drink very little now and when I do, it’s never wine. What’s that? Hell just froze over? 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happily, the boil water thing lasted only the weekend. And speaking of freezing, the wood stove is blazing the pond is covered with ice.

      And you will note, that I am sidestepping the “when did we get so old” question. I don’t want to talk about it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I think I would skip the Cat Pee. Who would label their wine with that name and expect people to buy/drink it? Geez. Boiling water does not sound too fun. We takes things like clean drinking water for granted and that we have water piped into our houses. We have been having some remodeling done on our house and the contractors have shut off the water a few time. Makes you appreciate having water and the ability to flush the toilets. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you have nailed it on the head – the “cat pee” name is exactly that – a gimmick.

      You are right about taking clean water for granted. I had set aside a jug of properly prepared water to use during the alert. I’d pour a glass, drink a good portion of if, and toss the rest down the drain, without thinking. A learning moment, that.

      Liked by 1 person

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