Over the holidays, a family friend threw an engagement party for Econo Boy and me, with a unique twist: all attendees had to bring a bottle of wine that cost $12 or less to help fuel our search for fabulous but affordable wedding wines! After much discussion, Econo Boy and I are looking for 4 wines: a light red (Pinot Noir, Sangiovese or similar), a fuller-bodied red (Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Shiraz), a crisp white (probably Pinot Grigrio or Sauvignon Blanc) and a rich white (Viognier or a Spanish white).
Several good finds may make their way into Wine Wednesdays in the future, but for now I'll list my favorite white and favorite red of the evening. My favorite white was provided by my very own mother: the 2007 Gimenez Riili Torrontes, a citrusy wine that was crisp and clean without being too thin or too sharp. We didn't even open this one the night of the party, but when the family popped the cork several nights later, this wine met with rave reviews. Score another one for South America!
The only drawback seems to be that my mom found an amazing deal on this wine! Most websites list its price at $13-$15 a bottle, but Mom swears she paid only $10.49. If we can find another deal, this could be our "crisp white" winner!
We also loved an Australian blend called Shoofly Aussie Salute (although certain family members questioned whether we really wanted to serve a wine called "Shoofly" at our wedding! To which I say, "if it's a good wine, sure, why not?"). Shoofly is a blend of Shiraz and Grenache with a bit of Viognier, and it's spicy and full-bodied, distinctive and great with food. Anyone who's still harboring anti-screw-top snobbery needs to try this one.
On a more serious note: over the break I've felt very grateful for all of the wonderful people Econo Boy and I have in our lives. The way people have been offering help left and right is astonishing, and that someone would be willing to host such an amazing engagement party for us is very special.
When we met with our officiant a few days ago, she asked if we wanted to do a "congregational affirmation" -- basically, she asks the assembled guests if they will support our marriage and our new family, and the guests answer "we will." This hadn't occurred to me, but when she suggested it, it seemed to make a lot of sense -- a way to include everyone who has been so supportive and wonderful to us as a couple. But is that too cheesy? What say you?