My Fellow Inebriates,

California Cult Classics new label

I got my paws on something very special this week—something that probably should have been saved for a special occasion. But a new booze arrival is impossible to resist after the sort of liquor drought we’ve been suffering at LBHQ. I couldn’t help it—the bottle was urging me, speaking to me, singing to me—and once the voices in my head chimed in I couldn’t help it. I pestered my parents to get out that big bottle-opening thingie and save us from sobriety.

The bottle in question contained a 2010 chardonnay bottled at California Cult Classics, an elite North Vancouver outfit where oenophiles, celebrities, and Vancouver Canucks convene to produce and enjoy wine made from extremely select Napa Valley grapes and painstakingly crafted to a world-class standard. Ahhhh!

You cannot find CCC wine in your neighborhood liquor store; it is strictly for personal consumption and not for resale. CCC members plunk down $10,000 to embark on a two-year wine-making journey, at the end of which they walk away with 288 bottles of vino so exquisite as to make them weep with joy. At approximately $35 per bottle, CCC wine compares favorably with wine that retails for $150 in stores. It is not something alcoholics, or alcoholic bears for that matter, usually invest in.

So how on earth did I acquire it?

Well, my dad knows a lovely person named Pixie, who read my lament about our near-bare liquor cabinet, and asked him to take me some wine and vodka.

So how would you interpret that, my peeps? I think she meant these gifts were just for me, don’t you? Predictably, my parents thought they were included, and since they have thumbs that enabled them to extract the special Sardinian Ganau cork from the wine bottle, they did open it and freeload off me.

Not my granny but she could be yours

I felt a particular urgency to drink this chardonnay because that varietal was the favorite of my granny who died last month. I was afraid that if we left it in the house she would come back from the dead as a zombie and look for it.

And so we poured it.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! A heady tropical aroma wafted to my nose with knee-weakening significance—this is not a wine to be messed with. At full refrigeration it was almost too cold to appreciate fully, and I had to battle some mean-ass DTs while I waited for it to hit optimal temperature.

People talk about chardonnays being buttery, and sometimes I think those people are full of crap, but I kid you not, friends, this chardonnay is buttery. Buttery and creamy, rich with vanilla, sensuous and transporting. This is not a wine to swill absentmindedly while you play Farmville. This wine will make you weak at the knees. Full-bodied and subtly oaked, it beckons from the glass, tantalizing, urging, promising, fulfilling. This wine OWNED me, people.

I can’t imagine I’d be very welcome at California Cult Classics in North Vancouver. It’s a very pristine winery, and bears have been known to host at least 30 types of parasites, including “coccidian protozoans, flukes, tapeworms, intestinal roundworms, lungworms, filarial worms, lice, fleas, ticks, and mites.” I don’t think the CCC people would let me add the yeast to the fermentation tank.

A better bet might be getting to know Pixie. Between you and me, I can’t stop thinking about her. Maybe she would let me ride to California Cult Classics in her purse. That’s how my friend Scarybear went to see Avatar.

I’m going to stalk Pixie from afar for a while and see what happens.

Give me vodka and I’m yours

My Fellow Inebriates,

I have a new favorite person in my life, which is too bad for Julia Gale of Broker’s Gin, with whom I was thoroughly enamored until she advised me to cross the border into the U.S. to buy her fine product (although she did clue me in to it being 47% proof rather than the 40% I’d find in Ontario).

Nope! Not Blackie. Safe for another day, buddy.

Why I fear traveling to the United States

I can’t imagine I’d be welcome in the States. The border guards couldn’t fingerprint me, and my sewn-up rectum precludes a cavity check. Not to mention, as a bear and therefore technically wild game, I’m frightened as f#ck to even share a continent with Alaska, and the knowledge that Chuck Testa has stuffed a bear almost identical to my bro Blackie Bear keeps me up at night. Basically paranoia and angst, plus my inability to reach the gas pedal of a car, will keep me out of that great nation to the south.

So toodles, Julia, and hello Pixie! Yes, my new favorite person is named Pixie. Yesterday Pixie, touched by my pleas to replenish the liquor cabinet, sent my dad home with a lovely bottle of California Cult Classics chardonnay and a freaky skull-shaped bottle of vodka.

My dad has kept his acquaintance with Pixie a big secret from me for several years, probably because he thinks I would stalk her, which I intend to.

This is exactly how I imagined LB headquarters operating, with a healthy influx of booze to keep me from feeling unloved, and two new products that await thoughtful tasting.

My deepest thanks to Pixie, not just for caring about my inventory and keeping the enterprise going, but for believing in me and touching my heart with her generosity. I am going to get totally wrecked on that chardonnay and chase it with the vodka.