Hello Wedding Wednesday! Sorry it’s been a few weeks since my last little update on wedding related shenanigans but I can tell you there’s been lots going on – dress decisions being made, save the dates being posted and the ring being finalised – all of which I will fill you in on very soon!
I wanted to first of all share a little piece of exciting news however before I launch into today’s most delectable post. In case you hadn’t already heard me banging on about it on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve officially been welcomed into team Love My Dress (my absolute favourite wedding blog) for the next nine months as one of their Lovette’s (real life blogging brides)! Along with 21 other brides to be, I’ll be writing about our journey through wedding planning, the trials, tribulations and top tips, right up until our big day! Exciting huh? (I’m trying to act cool but the reality is I am BEYOND giddy about this). Hop over to their blog today to see me introduced along with my fellow Lovette’s and if you enjoy my Wedding Wednesday features, please do come read my future LMD posts too!
So back to today’s subject. Surely one of the main perks of wedding planning is the consuming of all things cake/wine/fizz at every opportunity and the fact that doing so all comes under that umbrella of ‘necessary tasks to partake in the run up to a wedding’? I’ve become rather partial to a Sunday wedding fair with friends (I enjoyed them a little too much even before I was engaged), mainly because there is just SO much creative goodness on offer, all of which is there to be tried and tested. GB and I are very lucky to have a family member making our wedding cake for us (and two close friends making a second and third for us – yes we are having three cakes, don’t judge us) but as lovely a position as that is to be in it did mean we missed out on the opportunity to hit up cake makers and sit for hours on end eating ALL the sponge and icing options we could fit in, which, by living vicariously through friends, I’ve heard is as wonderfully gluttonous as it gets.
So, when the opportunity to do a little wine tasting, courtesy of the delightful folks at London based wine suppliers Humble Grape, came our way, we couldn’t resist. With my Mum visiting a couple of weeks back, it seemed like the perfect time to get stuck in with a bit of the old – nose in the glass and swirl it around in your mouth – shenanigans to see if we could figure out what we wanted from our wedding tipples.
Our venue is as rustic as it comes meaning we’re free to do as we please when it comes to food and drinks. While on the one hand this is great as we avoid any pricey package deals where we’re limited to half a glass of wine per person and can never be quite sure exactly what we’re paying for, on the other hand it means the decision making power over which type of wines we have on the day is entirely in our hands, and as someone who responds to queries surrounding wedding wine with ‘yes please’ and ‘red and white?’ you can imagine it’s a bit of a minefield.
I guess if you’re in a similar position to us, with a DIY wedding venue and not exactly considering yourselves wine connoisseurs, then calling upon a team of experts such as those who run Humble Grape, can be a huge help. They offer super helpful advice and tips on which wines would suit your wedding/party/ general tastes and their wine ‘notes’ and guides to help you buy are written in easy speak layman’s terms that even the non wine experts amongst us can fully understand and appreciate. For us all it took was a simple email describing a little about our wedding – words such as relaxed, laid back, untraditional and rustic were thrown across to the teams business manager and resident wine expert, Jessica, along with a bit of an overview on the time of year (Winter), the type of food we were planning to serve (easy, low key, sharing vibes), how many guests we were inviting (around 100) and how we’d see wine fitting in to the equation (Prosecco following the ceremony, wine at the meal and everything else beyond) – before being recommended three different wines (a red, white and Prosecco) all of which are organic and have been lovingly sourced from independent producers and small family vineyards all over the world; from France and Italy to South Africa and Australia. The real selling point of Humble Grape for me, was that in most cases the wines they stock are only available through them in the UK so you can be absolutely sure that you won’t find the same variety for half the price in your local supermarket. When it comes to a wedding, that bespoke nature, allowing your guests to try something totally new and fresh, certainly has its appeal.
So, what of these wines I hear you cry! How did they taste? Well seeing as I’m really no expert in this field, I could quite easily tell you they were all delicious and I’ve no doubt our wedding guests would glug the lot down in no time, but that wouldn’t be much of a review would it? So myself, GB and my Mum settled down one Friday evening in #TeamWedding mode and worked our way through each wine with a reviewers head on (at least for the first few glasses anyway, beyond that point everything was a little hazy) – as you can imagine it was one of the more taxing jobs I’ve done as a blogger… ahem. I’ve outlined each of the wines we trialed below, both with Humble Grape’s official tasting notes, and our own, um, humble opinions regarding how they’d suit our wedding.
1. The Prosecco – Ghisolana Prosecco Over 100 Extra Dry Asolo Superiore, 2012, Veneto, Italy
What Humble Grape say: “Prosecco is just fruity frivolous fizz, isn’t it? Well yes and no… This fun Prosecco is a sure-fire party starter packed with pear, apple and peachy goodness. But it also has a serious side and is anything but mass-produced. Grapes are handpicked in the heart of the exceptional Asolo Superiore region from a tiny 3 hectare plot of organic 100 year old vines, these are then fermented without adding sulphur. All the love that goes into this adds a floral, toasty, lemon meringue pie richness that is rarely found in other Prosecco and softens that “Extra Dry” status. A seriously frivolous fizz.”
What we say: I won’t lie, Prosecco is definitely one of my preferred drinks. There’s just something so fanciful about the popping and the pouring and the fizzing that makes it seem like an occasion even if it’s not. Sometimes I feel the furore surrounding a fizzy number is almost more important than the taste itself – after all when drinking Prosecco it usually is at a fun and excitable occasion – so I’m probably one of those types who you could give any glass of fizz to and I’d be quite happy, I even prefer the Cava’s and Processo’s to Champagne (cheap date, I know). Having said all that, the minute I took a sip of the Ghisolana I knew there was something different about this particular variety, and each one of us spotted it at the same time. It was the fruitiness of it – it almost had a deceptive pear cider taste about it, which is no bad thing of course. The ‘extra dry’ claim on the label through us all a little as with all those fruity notes and sweet sides, it seemed anything but dry. If anything our main criticism of this one was that perhaps, in that wedding setting (where you drink fizz at 11am and it’s all very exciting), it might be too sweet. We concurred that you almost need that dryness in your first drink of the day to be able to fully proclaim ‘ohh yes, I’m at a wedding’. This fizz would be the ideal party Prosecco, great for those who don’t like that bitter taste of wine and fab on a girls night out where you crave a little sweetness. Along with a square of dark chocolate it could even be a perfect contrast on a night in. As delicious as it was, we didn’t think it quite suited being a post ceremony calmer downer following those emotional vows, but would definitely consider having it for the party later on (maybe even with a drop of something pink for an even girlier touch?
2. The White – Domaine Raymond Morin La Sauvignole, 2013, Loire, France
What Humble Grape Say: “The Paul Simon’s Graceland of wine. An upbeat holiday vibe from left field. Lively, fun and friendly, but somehow timelessly fresh and rejuvenating. Crunchy green apple, spring buds, perky passionfruit and crisp citrus. Simply add friends, sunshine, a barbecue and you’ve got a party right there.”
What we say: This was my kind of white wine. I’m not a huge red drinker but sometimes I’ll really look forward to crisp, clean Sauvignon or Pinot. I never really know what I’m looking for when it comes to choosing white wines, other than that I don’t like Chardonnay and prefer dry to sweet. But now, I’m going to be looking for something along these lines for sure – exactly as Humble Grape describe it, it was both refreshing and relaxing at the same time. It perhaps felt a little summery for our Winter wedding, hard to avoid with a white wine anyway, but would absolutely suit the masses while still being something a little different from the run of the mill (that left field comment was spot on), be perfect with our food options and prove far too easy to drink.
3. The Red – Domaine de la Martinette Merlot, 2010, Bordeaux, France
What Humble Grape say: “Unpretentious, accessible, modern and fruity are not words you’d often use to describe the wines of Bordeaux. But Jacques Lurton is not your average oenophile, he is the original flying winemaker. This is a contradiction in every sense: soft yet rich, fun yet serious, contemporary yet true to its roots.”
What we say: As I mentioned I’m not a regular red drinker, so when it came to this one I assumed I’d have to hand over the reviewing reigns to my Mum and GB who both know red wines a lot better than I. But, despite my reservations, I thoroughly enjoyed a glass of this Bordeaux. It was ridiculously smooth (I’m not great with the rough texture of reds), easy to drink and filled you with a ‘warm your cockles’ feeling – beyond perfect for a Winter wedding. My Mum commented that it would be delightful drank alongside a slice of traditional wedding fruit cake (tick!), while GB touched upon a forest fruits taste. We all applauded its young, smooth and light appeal and without doubt crowned it the winner of the trio, a must for our rustic outdoor winter wonderland!
If you’re also in the process of choosing wedding wines (who knew such decisions would be required of us?) then you might like to take a look at the Humble Grape blog, where Jessica has put together a do’s and don’ts of wedding wine, full of helpful tips.
Even if you’re not on the wedding rollercoaster, if you love wine and want to try something new, organic and well sourced from a respected supplier, Humble Grape should be your go to – they’re wines are reasonably priced and offer something truly different from anything you’ll find on the supermarket shelves. They also run tasting events (oh yesss), which you can find out more about here.
Do you know your Merlot’s from your Bordeoux’s?