Glamour Puss Pinot Noir

September 26, 2006

New Zealand’s Coopers Creek Winery makes a range of wines with a consistent cat theme in their name. The most notable example is probably the Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush Sauvignon Blanc. But they also sell the Tom Cat Merlot, various Chardonnays and the Sally Cat Pinot Noir (which I’ve only seen in Ontario). And there’s also the belle of the ball – the  Glamour Puss Pinot Noir, which is the subject of today’s post.

Regular readers will know that my Pinot preferences are no secret (and are detailed here). I like them funky and nasty, which can be difficult to do when you want to spend around $15. I had seen mixed reviews of this wine elsewhere, and I wasn’t entirely sure it would be what I was looking. But the store I was in didn’t have a great selection of Pinots, so I took the chance.

In the glass, it showed off a fairly light colour, typical for cheaper New World Pinots. The nose was nondescript (although it got better as the wine warmed up). Mostly cherries, with only a hint of my beloved funk. So far – not so good. I crossed my fingers as I lifted the glass to my mouth.

And I was saved. It took on a different character once it hit my mouth. Sure, it tasted silky and smooth – just like the winemaker said. But it also had an acidic streak and a nice funky backbone too. There were lots of juicy ripe cherries in the mouth, which I would expect from a lighter fruit-forward Pinot. But there were some nice hints of earth, dead leaves and mushrooms (the much talked-about “forest floor”) hanging out underneath the cherries. Some of the reviews I’ve read talk about a hint of sweetness in the wine, but I honestly didn’t find any. My only complaint is that there weren’t a lot of tannins in here. But in some ways, the unexpected acidity made up for it. In fact, in a blind taste test, I might have tagged this as an obscure Italian red.

While the winemaker might disagree, I wouldn’t pair it with a mushroom risotto. I don’t think the creaminess would go too well with the funky acidity of the wine. Instead, I’d pair it with some baked salmon wrapped in prosciutto (a favourite recipe from which you can find here on the Food TV website). We served this dish up recently with some tasty Hawthorn Mountain Pinot Noir (British Columbia), but next time I’ll look for the Glamour Puss instead.

If you’re looking for something other than Cono Sur or Hawthorn Mountain (the other good ones in the under $20 category), you can find Glamour Puss at your local MLCC. For $15 and change, I’d recommend it. And a portion of the profits goes to the SPCA as well.


  1. Hi,

    I was asked by the fine folks at Flagstone to contact you. They were very impressed by a story you wrote on a couple of their products and would like to contact you. I am the agent for the brand in Manitoba, so if you could contact me via the email address provided I would appreciate it.

    Don Gange

  2. Hi Don,
    Check your email – I’ve sent you a reply

  3. I was looking for a Pinot Noir in a slightly higher price range – Willikenzie or Mt. Difficulty – but the Spec’s in Conroe didn’t have them. Anatoli recommended the Glamour Puss, which cost $9.50. His recommendations are reliable, so I went for it. Now I’m really excited about opening it!

  4. Where can I buy it in Chicago IL

  5. Martin,

    Your best bet is to check directly with the winery through this page:


    Good luck!

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