Hello Kitty. Want Some Wine?

Hello Kitty Wine?

Call me prudish, but the concept just seems so WRONG.

The world-famous Japanese kitty is certainly old enough to drink alcohol now – she was created in 1974 – but think about it, people: she has no mouth! And she’s the epitome of the “kawaii” concept of Japanese pop culture, the quality of cuddly cuteness and overall adorableness that has become an important aspect of modern Japanese fashion and manners. So the concept of Hello Kitty going on a wine bender, or even indulging in a glass of bubbly with her kibble, doesn’t sit well with me.

Well, get used to it. Hello Kitty wine is making a push into the American mainstream. (It has been sold in Europe and Asia since 2007.) Antonello’s, a respected Italian restaurant in Orange County, is featuring a “Hello Kitty” menu for one month beginning Thursday, Oct. 12.

Italy's Torti winery has teamed up with Sanrio, the Japanese company that created and marketed the Hello Kitty image, to offer a several kinds of wine with the iconic little puss on the label. If you go to the winery’s website, you’ll see the Hello Kitty line of sparkling roses and whites, and non-sparkling white and rose.

Here’s the mystery: the wine is almost impossible to find, at least in Southern California. Total Wine & More claims to carry it in a couple of stores in Nevada; other than that, good luck tracking down a bottle unless you go to Antonello’s.

Patrizia Torti said some Sanrio execs had run into her family’s wine at a restaurant. They liked it and got in touch with her about the Hello Kitty idea. “Her family has been setting aside some of its harvest to make wine for Sanrio under a Hello Kitty label for the company’s European and Asian markets since 2007,” the L.A. Times reports.

The winery’s website gives a cloying description in amusingly translated English:

“The Hello Kitty range is a selection of quality wines and sparkling wines which know how to combine taste and elegance amongst the fashion world, careful during every phase and detail of production from a selective manual harvest to quality packaging.”

The critics, surprisingly, have not been unkind: “Sweet flower scent and lightly spiced; harmonious taste thanks to the very balanced natural sparkling,” says the Wine Lab of the sparkling rose.

Anybody out there tried this stuff? Let us know! One question: What do you tell your kids when you bring a bottle home and they want to taste it?

BUY Hello Kitty Wine

Featured image from: http://localwally.blogspot.com…