This may seem weird in a blog about wedding planning, but it's actually not entirely unrelated. Econo Boy and I spend a wonderful, romantic weekend together in Sonoma visiting various wineries, and ever since we've had a blast trying new wines together. (I even bought a wine log app for my iPod touch that lets me keep a database of everything we try and how much we like it.)
Because it's something we enjoy so much as a couple, we really want to put together a special wine list for our wedding. One of my requirements of our venue was that they let us bring our own alcohol so we could do exactly that. So really, Wine Wednesday is just as much a part of the planning process as me complaining about bridesmaids' dresses. :-)
A few disclaimers before we get started:
- I am not a wine expert. I do not pretend to be a wine expert. I enjoy wine, I try lots of different ones, but I have a long way to go in my "wine education" before I know the right vocabulary to describe the tannins in a Cabernet. (If you want a real expert take, read the Wall Street Journal's fabulous Tastings column, written by the dynamic married duo of Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher.)
- The vast majority of wines I will talk about cost under $15 a bottle. I may mention some of the really special wines we tried and bought on our trip to Sonoma, but in general this is our poor-grad-student price range for wine.
- Special mention will go to eco-friendly wines by sustainable producers or small wineries.
It took me a while to start enjoying white wines. I blame California Chardonnay for this failing. 90% of the wines you'll be served at parties are Chardonnays, and many of them are too oaky, too buttery, too heavy, or too sweet. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you get the ultra-sharp, ultra-dry whites that taste like paint thinner. Ick.
The Cline Cellars Viognier, which Econo Boy and I tried together in Sonoma, was the white wine that opened my eyes. This wine is fruity and refreshing, but not overly sweet. It's light and crisp without being too thin or dry. I could see myself drinking it at a barbeque on a hot summer day, serving it at a dinner party with spicy Mexican food, or sipping it all on its own just because I felt like a glass of wine.
Best of all? It's reasonably priced. The vineyard sells it for $16 a bottle. It's a bit hard to find outside of California (Cline is a fairly small vineyard), but if you see it on the shelf in your local wine store, snap it up. Trust me, you'll thank me.