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article imageNew Zealand Innovation: White Wine, Cat Pee and Thee

By M Dee Dubroff     May 12, 2009 in Food
What is that odd aroma sailing above all others in the Sauvignon Blanc bouquet? Why is it so familiar and whoever thought of adding cat pee to wine for flavoring? Before you throw up, read on for more details.
According to news sources, New Zealanders are becoming more and more innovative than the rest of the world when it comes to unusual flavorings for their wine. Sweaty passion-fruit is bad enough to contemplate, but cat pee is hardly a flavor that will make even an avid animal lover like myself very happy. But New Zealanders love them and according to a six year study, (that’s a lot of drinking, boys and girls), some very happy scientists have concluded that these two ingredients are the core aromas in the country’s most popular Sauvignon Blanc!
Believe it or not, the unique character and flavor of New Zealand’s wine has captured the interest of wine connoisseurs everywhere. After the scientific team spent more than $12 million dollars defining the flavors of the country's most popular grape variety, they concluded that the winning combination was, hands down, a combination of sweet, sweaty passion fruit, asparagus and…cat pee!
The specially chosen panel was trained to distinguish between as many as 16 different flavors, some of which included canned and fresh asparagus, stone fruit, apple and snow peas. (It was not disclosed whether these scientists could differentiate different types of cat pee, if there is such a thing, that is).
The area whose white wine is the most drenched in cat pee seems to be a wine region near the capital of Wellington known as Wairarap. One winery, Cooper’s Creek, in keeping with the tradition of “if you can’t fight em, join em”, has changed the name of its Sauvignon Blanc to Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush.
Although it is said that the flavors are only found in moderation, that doesn’t help at all with the mental image of drinking cat’s pee (or even parts thereof).
I wonder what’s next as an act like this is hard to follow, but am afraid to ask.
Check out video about New Zealand food and wine.
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