Monday, June 30, 2014

Finally, A Married Lady

"Sadie, Sadie, married lady
See what's on my hand
There's nothing quite as touching 
As a simple wedding band." 

I don't remember there being a brother-in-law featured on the Brady Bunch but it would appear that I'll be playing that role with our family's new real life Brady Bunch. There are six of them but the kids in this family will just be a tad older than on the TV show. Thankfully. I won't say how long my sis, Vixen, has been waiting for her big wedding day but shall we say that she's been planning it (in theory) long before Big Trucker appeared on the scene and fell into the main squeeze role with such gusto.

Since the wedding was being held outside of Vancouver proper, we booked hotel rooms in the Valley and set up shop for what promised to be a memorable evening.

1654.  N.V. La Jara Organic Prosecco Extra Dry (Treviso DOC - Italy)

We arrived at the hotel with a bit of time to spare before the ceremony was slated to start. So, Boo and I invited our little gang over for a cocktail and to catch as much of the Costa Rica v. Greece World Cup playoff game.

I figured a bit of bubbly would suit the occasion and brought along the Aperol to stretch out the Prosecco. After all, can there ever be enough Spritz at a wedding?

I didn't know anything about La Jara when I grabbed the bottle but I knew it was one I hadn't added to The List yet and it can be difficult to find new Prosecco's to add since most of them are non-vintage and I can only add a particular bottle once - unless it's a different vintage (who made these rules?). Anyhow, this little sparkler - traditionally made from 100% Glera grapes (which are probably unknown to almost all wine drinkers) - is just another bit of celebration on a day already full of celebration.

Despite all of Vixen's planning, however, we had to finish our cocktails and head to the ceremony just as the soccer game was heading into overtime. Some planning.

I know Vixen was saddened by the fact that our Mom passed away before the wedding but she rejoiced in the fact that Mom knew the date - and knew how happy Vixen was - before she passed on. Having Dad and Vixen's three kids all participate in the wedding procession was a small way of ensuring that Mom was in attendance in spirit all the same.

Unlike Boo's and my ceremony (ceremonies) where we could serve whatever booze we wanted to bring in - at cost (can you say 30 Litres of vodka for martinis?) - Vixen and Big Trucker had to choose from a very limited - and costly - wine list. Facing a burgeoning budget, they opted for more economical bottles so that they could order more of them.

1655.  2012 Peller Estates Family Select Pinot Blanc (VQA British Columbia)

1656.  2012 Cupcake Red Velvet (California)

I thought the Pinot Blanc was an interesting choice. We don't tend to see many people choose it as a varietal wine - despite the fact that there are those in the know (cue Barb Philip MW) who would argue that Pinot Blanc could well be a varietal wine for BC winemakers to concentrate on as a signature grape. It was the easy sipper it needed to be for the wide selection of food in the buffet dinner - and for a guest list that didn't include a whole lot of wine afficionados.

I think the Cupcake was a sentimental favourite for Vixen since girl loves her red velvet cake. The Zinfandel, Merlot and Petite Sirah blend is the big, fruit forward red that a beer-loving crowd just might go for.

Despite it being my sister's wedding and there being a good assortment of relatives present, I didn't know a hefty portion of the guests. Luckily, a few of our best friends have become friends of Vixen as well over the years. Consequently, Elzee, Merlot Boy, Margarita, Lady Di and She Who Must Be Obeyed were all with us to share in the event.

One couple I did recognize was Guru and Bride of Frank'n'wine. I wandered by their table to catch up and to reminisce about their wedding - and all the special wines they'd pulled corks on at their special day. Indeed, their wedding was one of my early posts on the blog. I probably shouldn't have been surprised that they had a bottle upgrade or two waiting at their table.

1657.  2011 Ravenswood Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel (Lodi - California) 

Like the Cupcake, this (predominantly) Zin was rounded out with a healthy shot of Petite Sirah but I don't think it's too much of a surprise to learn that the Ravenswood packed a more nuanced punch. Ravenswood, in the Vancouver market, is known for its approachable wines - especially at the entry level - but this Lodi Old Vines is the first step above the Vintners Blend. I could have stayed a whole lot longer with Guru and Bride-y but I had to simply accept a refill and schmooze some more with the other guests.

I did invite them to come by our table later though because I had a bit of a treat to bring out as the evening wore on as well.

1658.  2006 Langmeil - Valley Floor Shiraz (Barossa Valley - Australia) (1.5L bottle)

Langmeil's Valley Floor Shiraz is a definite favourite of mine and I've had this magnum lying around for awhile. I thought my little sis' wedding was a pretty decent opportunity to pull the cork. I'm not kidding myself with this Shiraz. It's definitely bold and fruit forward in that New World Aussie style that many have come to dial back from but Langmeil definitely hits the spot with me. I can still remember the first time I tried a Valley Floor Shiraz - it was at a fundraiser for Ronald MacDonald House many years back and I played "plus one" for Elzee. The event was being held in house worthy of the Real Housewives of Vancouver and the rep for Langmeil was serving up his new entry off to the side in the kitchen. We ignored the sponsor's wines from then on and just kept heading back for more of the Valley Floor.

And from the Valley Floor (perhaps thanks to the Valley Floor and other wines), there was eventually a fair bit of action on the dance floor. Once the DJ's arm was twisted to play It's Raining Men, there was no turning back. I had at least three people come up to me and smile as they told me that they remembered my Mom at Boo's and my wedding where she was out on the dance floor throwing her arms into the air singing along to It's Raining Men.

Guess there was no mistaking that Mom was at Vixen's wedding after all.

By the time our crowd was singing "Red Wedding" to Billy Idol, it was time to call it a night and to send our married couple off on their honeymoon.

Here's wishing Vixen and Big Trucker many happy trails as they move forward in life together. I know there'll be more than a couple of bottle added to The List with them as drinking buddies. Cheers.

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