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By Carien Grobler

Deputy Digital Editor


Cheers to cuteness: Grumpy Pug wine hits the shelves

It's a wine adventure like no other as Liquor City teams up with the most charming canines around to bring you Grumpy Pug wine. From playful sips to adorable labels, every aspect of this collaboration is sure to bring a smile to your face.


Get ready to raise a glass with the most adorable partnership in town! Just when you thought pugs couldn’t get any cuter, they’ve proven their cleverness once again by teaming up with Liquor City to launch Grumpy Pug wine. With every sip, you’ll taste the playful spirit and charm that these beloved pups are known for. So, wag your tails and get ready to indulge responsibly in a wine experience like no other.

It’s been 16 years since Malcolm and Cheryl Gaw gave up a luxurious life to create a safe haven for pugs. Cheryl traded her office attire for a pair of water boots and enjoys every moment, she says. “I never look back; it was the right decision and brings tremendous satisfaction.”

In the early years, Malcolm and Cheryl lived in a rented caravan for over a year while the splendid dog haven was built on the same piece of land in Benoni. In the meantime, it has developed with several cottages and play areas being built.

Pug Rescue South Africa cares for around 150 dogs at their pug sanctuary at any given time. Dogs that are young and healthy enough are placed in permanent homes, while those that are too old or sick can stay at Pug Rescue forever. They are given honorary citizenship and are called “honorary pugs.”

“The reason for our existence is people who breed irresponsibly, backyard breeders,” says Cheryl. “A puppy bred by a responsible, respected breeder will never end up in a dog haven, because the breeders know where the puppies are going, do follow-up visits, and will take the dogs back if they are no longer welcome in their homes.”

Paws for thought: The price of pug haven

To do this work, however, costs money, and in the current economic climate, it is increasingly common for people to surrender their pugs. Pug Rescue recently had to build emergency accommodation because there was no space for all the pugs that came in.

While they have relied on donations and contributions to continue their work, Liquor City recently proposed that they collaborate to make a series of pug wines.

“They contacted us, and we were excited from the get-go,” Cheryl says with a smile in her voice. “We would have our wine with our own label and a sustainable income to tend to our pugs.”

She explains that they were sent samples to choose from and then started working on the concept of the label. “When we thought of a name, we initially came up with ‘For pugs’ sake!’ Then someone said Grumpy pug, and it stuck,” she laughs.

They knew that the label should have an image of a pug, and working with the designer, they decided to add some psychedelic colors and emboss the name. It was decided to have seven varieties, each with its own background.

The range of Grumpy Pug wines. Image: Pug Rescue

From paw to pour: Tail-wagging moments on the lips

Malcolm and Cheryl visited Swartland Winery in the Western Cape where the wine is produced to see the final product. “We were so excited; it looks and tastes excellent!”

She says the response to the wines is incredible. “We’ve even had requests to make the wine available overseas! People are also already asking for a larger range that includes a semi-sweet and rosé.”

The range consists of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, and Merlot. It’s available at Liquor City and on Liquor City’s website for R54.99 per bottle with free delivery. For every bottle sold, Liquor City donates R2 to Pug Rescue.

Visit Grumpy Pug’s Facebook page for more information.

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