catfishLast month we started a contest to name the newest denizen of Two Terrier Vineyards. It’s the giant catfish who suddenly showed up in our pond. Or who suddenly grew large enough that we noticed him. If he is a him. That was one of the challenges of the naming him. Was he a him or a her? Should he be given a Southern name or a cowboy name, as we’ve traditionally done with our local bestiary? Should he have a historic Sonoma name? And should he be named after a famous MALE or famous FEMALE Sonoma denizen. Not being experts in determining the sex of a catfish, the best name was going to have to determine his or her sex. We opened the contest on Facebook and the blog and now we have a winner. Which isn’t to say it was an easy choice.

Here were some of the best suggestions:

We had a number of votes for Cat Ballou — which was one of my personal favorites, given my identification with Jane Fonda, as a Liberal with a Gun. Of course, that would gender identify our catfish as female. Give his/her size, the majority opinion is that he/she is a male.

Mudslide Slim was another good suggestion. An obscure reference to James Taylor’s album Mudslide Slim and the Blue Horizon. Even though I’m a graduate of a Massachusetts college, I wasn’t quite ready to give James Taylor any cowboy cred. So that one went out by a whisker.

We accepted both boy and girl names, but the sheer size of this monster is tipping us toward calling him a boy.

We accepted both boy and girl names, but the sheer size of this monster is tipping us toward calling him a boy. Such is gender politics at Two Terrier Vineyards.

Given the catfish’s propensity for sucking up detritus from the bottom of ponds, another inspired suggestion was Herbert Hoover. The terriers were solidly behind this one, given that their favorite place to poo in San Jose is on the grounds of Herbert Hoover Middle School. Abraham Lincoln High School is just as close, but the terriers recognize that Lincoln was a great president and Herbert Hoover was a dreadful one. They deposit poo accordingly.

For our winners, we have two bottles of Indian Leap Winery wines (the name of our "real" winery, versus our "jokey blog" name of Two Terrier Vineyards). I was going to send out Cabernet as soon as it's bottled, but I also have a Rhone/Provence style Rosé that is ready now.

For our winners, we have two bottles of Indian Leap Winery wines (the name of our “real” winery, versus our “jokey blog” name of Two Terrier Vineyards). I was going to send out Cabernet as soon as it’s bottled, but I also have a Rhone/Provence style Rosé that is ready now.

On a Southern theme, Beauregard, Bubba and JimBob were in the running. An original name with Sonoma associations, Mayacama Cat was also inspired, given that one of the visible mountain ranges from Two Terrier Vineyards are the Mayacamas Mountains (they separate us from that OTHER wine valley.)

But in the end, we just had to go with Catfish Hunter. For obvious reasons and for the local reason that the original Catfish played with our nearest big league team, the Oakland Athletics. That name brands our catfish solidly as a boy. Probably the only non-human catfish that would probably chew tobacco if we’d just throw it in Lake Charles.

So two bottles each of Indian Leap Winery Cabernet will be going out to Pamela and Kipper. Send me an email with your shipping address. Your Cabernet is still resting in oak, but is set to bottle soon. We’ll get those out as soon as they are labeled.

Thank you to all the members of our Naming Council. Don’t worry if you didn’t win this one. We have plenty more critters wandering into Two Terrier Vineyards every day. There will be plenty more naming challenges and contests to come.

 

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