Summer Gear

Great article about summer gear in USA Weekend . Our friend here did not get the memo. The point is safety, yes, but also to look cool not crazy!! Anyway, not that we are hinting for gifts or anything but check this out:

Whether you’re into recreational Frisbee with your pup or just leisurely strolls around the block, here’s seasonal gear to help your canine companion stay safe and comfortable:

• Keep your running buddy dry in a water-repellent Muttluks Dog Jog Rainsuit featuring a step-in design and zip closure; available in a variety of colors and sizes. ($40-$80,

• The Kurgo Surf n Turf Coat suits a water dog swimmingly. It features a removable flotation liner, two metal d-rings for leashes and handles for quick control. ($39.99 to $69.99,


• Doggles Protective Eyewear keeps out wind and debris and provides 100% UV protection; with wrap-around frames, fogproof and shatterproof lenses and flexible straps in a selection of sizes. ($29.99,

• A battery-operated dog collar by Pup-Light features three ultra-white LEDs shining light up to 200 feet; fits necks from 8 to 26 inches. ($19.99,

• Help your pooch stay hydrated with this 25-ounce stainless steel water bottle from H204K9 that’s designed to make it easy for him to drink; available in a variety of brilliant colors. ($15.95,


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The Door Knob Principle

This group is riding to our shop on Wednesday for the Bar-b-Que wine tasting!! AWESOME.

Bike riding is down the road, so to speak, for us as we are still working on the confounded door knob principle.

But once we nail that, there is no limit!

Come see us on Wednesday and support The Blue Ridge Bicycle Club. Your Shop Dogs


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Vote for Our Shop!!

Please vote for our shop as Best Wine Shop in the Mountain Xpress Poll.

We love Emily and Samantha and all the great people over at Mountain Xpress.

Please tell them that you love US!

And this is not a bribe but there is a Veggie Madness biscuit as a thank you in it for you.

Thank you for your support. Vote here:



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Meet Here!

Sounds like we are encouraging groups to meet at our shop. who wouldn't want to meet here?

Great art on the walls, big tables, digital TV (with a picture of us rolling through but we digress!),

state of the art sound system, wine by the glass, buy a bottle, chocolate and cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese.

Take a look here:


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Cool and Clear

Today is a beautiful day in Asheville. Right now, it is a cool, clear 57 headed for a high of 70. Perfect.

And tonight, it will look like this:


We love it here!

Asheville Chamber of Commerce

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FedEx Guy

This is why shop dogin' is 24/7. We were out on our DAY OFF taking a late morning stroll past The Grove Park Inn when a FedEx truck stopped.  It was our FedEx Guy! He said he had been to the shop but he forgot we were closed on Mondays. He got lucky passing and saw us,The Shop Dogs. Then we got lucky because he gave us biscuits. All in all a good start to the day.

This is FedEx, not our FedEx Guy but still.....


And speaking of biscuits, we forgot to tell you that Peter from the Black Walnut Bed and Breakfast in Montford stopped by to pick up a case of Rose for his guests and guess what, he gave us biscuits from the Three Dog Bakery. sometimes shop doggin' is great!


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Sexy Stuff this Honoro Vera Garnacha 2012

Honoro Vera Garnacha is one of the first bottles we tasted and shelved in the store and I don't see a day in the future when a bottle of this near perfect wine for $9.99 is not on the shelf. Honoro Vera is 100% Garnacha with a nose and palate of full on cherries and blackberries with just a touch of pepper. But what sets this Garnacha apart is that the fruit is full and lush but the wine is dry.  But don't take my word for it. Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar gave Honoro Vera Garnacha 90 points and when asked for pairing suggestions, Tanzer pretty much said what cannot be paried with this bottle? And then Hollywoood weighed in putting this Honoro Vera Garnacha sur la table! Described variously but always sending the same message by numerous critics as "best value" or "a steal," there really is only one word for this wine, this presentation, this story: WOW.

Lately it seems like I've been writing a lot about wines from Aragón, but honestly, it's not motivated by a pride of living in Aragón or anything like that, it just so happens that they are receiving all the praise in the U.S.
Borsao Selección and Tres Picos, both of Bodegas Borsao, from the D. O. Campo de Borja, have led the way in the U.S., receiving high points from The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, but now they are joined by Honoro Vera, a young and vibrant red wine from the Ateca winery in Calatayud, Aragón, Spain.
Honoro Vera has been chosen by Wolfgang Puck to accompany the dishes in the Governor's Ball with more than 1,500 guests after the Oscar Awards, on Sunday, February 24th in Los Angeles. Over 400 bottles of wine will be served to the winners of the most desired prize in the world of cinema.
Wolfgang's choice caught Bodegas Ateca completely by surprise. The group sales manager for Oro Wines and Juan Gil said: "We knew nothing about it, until the wines were solicited for having been considered the best wine to pair with the dishes that will be served."

I don't know what dishes Mr. Puck is planning to pair, but Honoro Vera is an old vines Grenache with intense aromas of ripe red and black fruits (raspberry, currant and blackberry), balsamic sensations that come from a short period in oak and the spices like thyme which grow in the vineyards and a light mineral background which comes from the slate mountainsides. It's fruity, floral, fresh and easy to drink, producing a pleasant sensation with a tiny touch of sweetness on the tongue.
Bodegas Ateca emerged from a joint project of Bodegas Juan Gil and Jorge
Ordonez, through Orowines, but Ordonez left the company about three years ago. Oro Wines continues to control the facilities of the cooperative and its vineyards and produces two other wines, in addition to Honoro Vera; Atteca, with 12 months in the barrel, and Atteca Armas, with 18 months of aging. All three of the wines are surprising and delicious, but for me it's no surprise that Mr. Wolfgang Puck has chosen HonoroVera. I find it to be the most pleasant and refreshing of the three with a beautiful lively expression of fruit and spice without overpowering or dominating a meal.


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Getting ready for "The Green Ladies" event tomorrow starting at 1pm to benefit Helpmate.

Picking the music for the big day but everyone has their own favorites. Gary and Kendal and John and Gina all want different stuff.

Us? We want Duffy!


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First, I would like to point out that I am not a "baby." Second, there is a big difference between whining for biscuits and a respectful request for one of those hard bread focaccia like rounds that we serve at wine tasting. So there! Bandit.

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Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting and the YWCA

Back on the job. Big day at the shop. New staffer, Kendall, joined us. She's awesome. Just about to graduate college. Congratulations Kendall and welcome aboard! Kendall learned the cash register pretty quickly. Great. Because that is where we are drawing the shop duties line. Anyway, we will be able to toast Kendall in style because we just took delivery of nearly 100 "champagne" glasses. But the toasting starts today when the Asheville Chamber of Commerce comes to do the Official Ribbon Cutting at the shop. Word is that we get to keep the ribbon. And someone said that as part of the festivities, someone might break out a guitar and jam. And part of proceeds benefit The Asheville YWCA. We know what it's like to need a helping hand. Hoping everyone comes out to shop and support the programs at the YWCA. Our contribution is that we promise not to whine and cry for biscuits during the party. OK. I promise. Me, Cate. Bandit's a baby.


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This is a day off?

We were technically off today. But, getting ready for the Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting and the YWCA!!!!, we ran errands. First, we let Larry the electrician in at our house - we love Larry - later Larry went to the shop - so we were there on our day off - see what we mean!! - anyway - then we went for a walk and our neighbor Mary said she might bring her poetry group to the shop on Sundays - oh yeah - then we went to Allegra Printing for flyers for the WNC Green Ladies event on Saturday, Rosebud Video for most awesome movies like "Wise Blood" - Staples for chairs - you have to know how to shop furniture at office supply and hardware - it's an art - and there was a little too much excitement about the sale on scissors - moving on - Mike's on Charlotte Street for our food - Ingles for their food and balloons - using a lot of those pesky things to let folks know that we are open and come on down! - and then to the coffee place but it was closed - the cans of Cafe du Monde seem to be disappearing a little too quickly around here these days - we still have stuff to learn and oh boy everyone is excited because Bob Bowles posted our YWCA Ribbon cutting event - love him - and we went to UPS - we love that guy too! - and now we are settling in to watch the movie "50/50" AGAIN because this guy is the star - OK - not the star but a really big deal and he did us proud.


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Napoleon Bonaparte

The Asheville Citizen Times reports that on this day in 1821 France's Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on St. Helena. So we started  to thinking, did Napoleon have a dog? Despite the many millions of pages written about Napoleon and all the pages he penned himself about himself, the answer to this question cannot be verified. But your Shop Dogs found the following text and we are running with it. In any case, it sounds like a good reason to raise a glass of something French. Come on over to the shop! We can talk about the fact that Napoleon Bonaparte was really born Napoleone Bounaparte to parents from the Tuscany region another day. 

Meanwhile, here is what we found on the dog controversy:

The Newfoundlander

Napoleon Bonaparte owed his life to a nameless Newfoundland. As Bonaparte fled the island of Elba in 1815, where he was exiled, choppy seas pitched him overboard. A fisherman's dog jumped in after the drowning despot and kept him afloat. Napoleon lived to experience his own defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.  CNN LIVING



"When Napoleon was on St. Helena he had a black and white dog called 'Sambo' - it had its ears cut off, in the Chinese style, and looked more like a seal. After Napoleon's death in May 1821 the dog was taken back to Europe by Countess Bertrand and her children." 

This is Napoleon:



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Yesterday was really really really busy. So busy that a sales rep (learning the "talk") had to walk us after dinner. Nice guy. He had Bordeaux. We need a plan to ride the passenger cabin! Why? Because this is Bordeaux:


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Radio 1350 WZGM Metro Wines Interview

Oh no! We are never going to hear the end of this! John and Gina were interviewed by Bob Bowles!!! of Asheville Wine and Food !! oh yeah! on WZGM 1350 Asheville Independent Radio. Interview will be broadcast today about 4:30. We weren't there. Nope. Somebody had to watch the shop. Shop Doggin' is 24/7. Anyway, here is a studio shot:


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Chasing ceeeeeese is funny, but this is serious. This is about the work YWCA does to empower women.

Empowering Women

Since 1906, women’s empowerment has been at the heart of the YWCA of Asheville’s work. The organization’s original charter in 1897 was to provide safe housing for working women. Today, the YW combines a programmatic history of women’s empowerment, a century of advocacy with and for women, and a passion for justice and equality into programs that change women’s lives and the lives of their families.

Women have held the leadership positions throughout the 103 year history of the organization. At the YWCA, all program directors and all board members are women. From a staffing perspective, the YW does not discriminate of the basis of sex; however, a review of our administrative staff, departmental directors and employees reflects the extensive efforts the YW makes to reach out to women and underrepresented groups when job opportunities arise. Our success at inclusion has lead to our being recognized as having one of the most visibly and intentionally diverse leadership teams in Asheville.

The YWCA Board of Directors pays great attention to power-building in historically disenfranchised groups of women as well as the generational transfer of leadership. We intentionally build the power of low-income women by hiring women who have been enrolled in our programs, and offering deeply discounted on-site child care and after school care. Specifically, to build up the power of low-income women, the YW has intentionally not incorporated a financial means needs test to access service. Instead, the YW has developed program entry avenues for low-income women that assure dignity and full participation. Many of our programs have advisory councils that intentionally seek out program participants so that they may have direct input into program decisions. Maintaining an environment that includes people from all walks of life creates challenges and risks, and we continually assess whether our programs successfully align with our mission.

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No Cheese

A shop dog's responsibilities are many and varied. One of them is assisting with clean up. We had about 50 people in the shop last night to taste sparkling wine from Saumur. There was cheese. We prepared, shall we say, the plates for washing. Success! Now, if we can just figure out how to get into the passenger cabin of a plane! We need another plan. This is the Chateau Saumur.

le chateau de saumur


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Three Graces Dairy cheeeeeeeeeeese coming out for the wine tasting today. Another chance! Strategy. It's all about strategy. A plan. We need a plan. We can do this. We took out a bag of sourdough last week. We can do this. Less than 2 hours. Keep you posted.

This is about the Three Graces Dairy: 

In antiquity the Three Graces brought beauty, mirth and hospitality to the Gods...
Our Three Graces - the goat, the sheep and the cow give us the exquisite milks
that are the source and inspiration for our French-style cheeses.
From soil to seed to grass to feed
From goat, sheep and cow to kid, lamb and calf
From milk to curd to cheese
Farmstead means it all happens on our farm!
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Trent Reznor

Open letter to Trent Reznor,

Dear Trent, Thank you for adopting retired racing greyhounds and for your efforts to raise funding for more to find homes. You are most awesome and we love Nine Inch Nails! Please stop by our store, Metro Wines (some of us greys are not totally retired but that is another story!) when you headline the New Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit from October 25 to 27. We found this clip about you. Also, we loved you in Social Network.  Your most devoted fans, Shop Dogs.



Trent Reznor, the frontman of Nine Inch Nails, who also scored the movie The Social Network.

He has put up rare band memorabilia on eBay to benefit two greyhound rescue organizations, Greyhound rescue and California Greyhound Adoption Promotion.

There are four bundles of Nine Inch Nails collectors items including, limited edition CDs, t-shirt protypes, tour posters and other swag, all signed by Trent Reznor.

Current bids are hovering just above $1,000 so get your bid in soon!

The 2011 auction page said: "Trent is an animal lover and longtime supporter of rescuing greyhounds and has created this auction specifically to help his friends continue their work in saving these animals’ lives. Reznor himself has adopted several greyhounds."

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Tres Francais

This is Erte. Look at that greyhound. You know, you really can be too thin!

Anyway, please come to the shop on Wednesday from 5 to 7 pm for French. Your Shop Dog, Cate

This is Erte. 



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What Shop Dogs do on Their Day Off

Sleep! "Sleep is the best meditation." Dalai Lama

This is me and Bandit meditating on our day off.


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