Choosing wedding wines? The post wedding follow up. Guest blogger The Graped Crusader saves the day….
People warned me how fast your wedding day tends to pass, but I was genuinely surprised by the sheer speed that it was all over. I’d barely had time to nip round the tables to check how the wine was going down before I was muddling my way through my first dance then found myself in a cab at the end of the night!
It wasn’t without incident of course. We’d decided (as a slightly ironic touch) that given I’m a wine nut we’d name the tables after ‘cheesy’ wines. We therefore had, to name a few, Blossom Hill, Liebfraumilch, Asti Spumante and Mateus Rose tables. Each table had a bottle of each wine for purely decorative purposes. What we hadn’t bargained for of course was the guests gamely cracking into these bottles as well as the wines I’d carefully chosen! There’s nothing quite like seeing your family downing a 1.5 litre bottle of room temperature Liebfraumilch to convince you that you should have spent less time choosing the ‘real’ wines….
Thankfully, given it was my main job, the ‘real’ wines all went down very well indeed. We started off by toasting the marriage outside in glorious November sunlight and balmy 13 degree heat. The Lindauer Special Reserve Blanc de Blancs NV was perfect for this and the guests did a sterling job in only just leaving enough for the post-meal toasts. As I said in my earlier piece, it’s a very easy drinking and pleasant sparkling wine. Five guests came up to me to enquire where they could stock up for themselves and by now I imagine they have done just that. For big occasions where the budget needs to be respected I think it’s a near perfect choice.
With the meal came the arrival of the red and white wines. To recap these were the Fairhall Cliffs Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from Marlborough and the Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 2007 from California. I wasn’t worried about the Sauvignon Blanc. Us Brits have a ferocious appetite for the stuff and it was very well received. The star of the show though was my risky wildcat choice; the Zinfandel. This went really well with our hearty food and made for very pleasant drinking without food before and after the meal. It was the first Zinfandel many of the guests had had and they were impressed with the quality and the price. I suspect some of them will have sought out other examples in the weeks following the wedding. Having had dinner with Joel Peterson, the founder of Ravenswood, a few days before the wedding I was very pleased that I’d chosen the Ravenswood. It fitted the brief perfectly.
With the guests having enjoyed the first three wines so much the Concha Y Toro Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2007 from Chile was expected to go down well, and so it proved. I’d deliberately chosen only a moderately sweet dessert wine and it worked a treat. Ardent haters of sweet wine were caught tucking in with gleeful abandon and I’m delighted that I stuck to my guns in the face of my now wife telling me that non-one would drink dessert wine!
So there you have it, proof that you can provide decent wedding wine on a budget. If anyone finds themselves in a position where they need to do just that I’d urge them to pop down to their local Majestic store where they have the experience and the range to help you on your way. Just hold fire on the Liebfraumilch…..