My birthday was in June and I decided to use the occasion to do two things: 1.) Clear out some of the extra wine from our wine cellar and 2.) Have our guests help us choose the wine we would be serving at the wedding.
As to the first one—Sparky is a wine collector and he has filled our house (and our offsite wine cellar) with more wine than we can currently store in an organized manner. I know, it’s a terrible problem to have. The original plan for my birthday party was to invite a bunch of friends over, have an assortment of bottles out that needed to be opened, and tell guests to pick whichever they wanted to drink.
After I sent the invite, we happened to get an email from our venue coordinator with the wine/beer list. After talking about it, Sparky and I decided to pick up as many of the bottles as we could and then do a blind tasting with our friends and have them vote on their favorites.
We had 10 wines to choose from—five reds and five whites. We will be able to have two of each.
One white we discarded immediately because it was French. Sparky and I drink a lot of Washington wine and it makes sense for us to feature it at our wedding so that our guests get to drink what we normally drink. From there, we ran around town trying to track down all the wines we could. We ended up with eight, four of the reds (CMS Hedges, McKinley Springs Bombing Range Red, Helix Merlot, and Cooper Hill Pinot Noir) and four of the whites (For a Song Chardonnay, Barnard Griffin Riesling, Barnard Griffin Fume Blanc, and Charles Smith Pinot Grigio).
A bit out of order, but this was the voting area layout.
As you can see from the above photo, we put the wines out next to each other and had the labels covered so that people could taste them for preference without being swayed by producer or type. This picture was during the reveal, which is why the labels are visable. I was a bad blogger and forgot to get a picture before we started (whoops!).
This is what the labels looked like.
After everyone tasted the wines, they voted on which two they liked best.
The winners of the night were the Helix Merlot (by a landslide), For a Song Chardonnay, and Barnard Griffin Riesling There was a tie between the CMS Hedges and the Cooper Hill Pinot Noir. This turns out to be an OK thing because, while we will definitely feature the Helix Merlot, we will probably pick the fifth red that we couldn’t find before the party.
Image from Sozo
The reason we plan to pick this wine is because the winery donates five meals to people who are lacking basic needs for every bottle purchased. I’ve already talked about our various charitable components, and this seems like one more lovely thing we can do. We do intend to taste it, but unless it’s terrible we’ll pick it. Hopefully the guests at the Campfire wedding will drink their fill! (We’re having unlimited beer and wine all night for guests, with liquor available during the cocktail hour.)
In addition to having the wine up for vote at my birthday party, BM Hot Buns also brought a cake for me in one of our potential wedding flavors. It was a nontraditional cake tasting for sure, but DELICIOUS.
Almond cake with fresh cherry filling and cherry buttercream
Cake + wine + friends made for an awesome birthday.
How did you choose the wine or other alcohol for your wedding?