Mary Tutwiler

Shotgun wine tasting

by Mary Tutwiler

Guns and alcohol. Not a good mix, unless you’re Abbeville’s John Putnam, musing on how he’s going to cook his specklebelly. Or if you are Putnam’s hunting buddy, Bjorn Larson who owns two vineyards in Napa Valley. Thunder and lightning! Hunting and fishing! Shotguns and wine! A brand new label, Gauge Wines , is the embodiment of that epiphany in a duck blind. “Two things I have the most experience with are hunting and drinking,” Putnam says. “So it just kind of came together.” They teamed up with Larson’s childhood friend, wine maker Trent Moffett, of Moffett Vineyards. The two first offerings are 12 Gauge Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20 Gage Chardonnay.

Wine talk has its own language. Here’s how Gauge describes the cab:

"Smooth. Bold. Delectable. Much like that slab of venison on the table calling for a sharper knife. Cabernet Sauvignon has long been favored as the drink of choice with a juicy steak. We say it’s the drink of choice with any meal that’s met its demise as a worthy adversary."

Gauge is equally earthy when it comes to the chardonnay:

"Crisp. Dewy. Creamy. Inspired by spring mornings shrouded in fog, sitting in perfect stillness, waist deep in reeds. Traditionally prized as the perfect complement to seafood, this Chardonnay goes well with all types of fowl."

Gauge Wines should be on the market as soon as next week, with a price point of about $12 a bottle. If you’d like to taste it before then, Putnam will be pouring at the upstairs bar at Townhouse on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 5-7 p.m., and at Marcello’s Wine Cellar on Johnston St. on Saturday, March 1, from 1-3 p.m.