Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wedding Bliss and Wine

On Dec 1, 2012 my personal and wine life coincided for several extraordinarily happy hours as my darling fiance Shawna and I said our wedding vows in front of friends and family and then celebrated with some of Aaronap Cellars' finest vintages.  I thought the day was especially poignant given that wine brought Shawna & I together in the first place when a mutual friend invited Shawna along to help me bottle some wine.  Seems Shawna's grandfather used to make dandelion wine and she was curious if I could actually make decent wine in my basement. soon as I opened the door to find Shawna on the front porch, the rest was history and approximately 18 months later we tied the knot.

I do have to give credit where it is due and say that Shawna did an amazing job of planning the wedding.  It was a perfect December night with a cold crispness in the air and a light layer of snow on the ground that provided a perfect backdrop for the ceremony at Glen Magna Farms in Danvers, MA.  The former country retreat of the Peabody & Endicott families, the 1892 colonial farmhouse was beautifully decorated for the Christmas holidays.  Of course, there was dashingly handsome groom, and an absolutely beautiful bride..some vows...romantic readings...blessings...etc, etc.  In all honesty, the ceremony was a bit of a blur since all I could think about was this beautiful woman in front of me.

My biggest contribution to the evening was providing the wine for dinner.  Fortunately for me, the Glen Magna catering permit requires the wedding party to provide all of the beverages, which means we could easily serve my wines instead of purchasing some nondescript table wine.  We did proudly purchase some "made-in-MA" sparkling wine since I didn't have any on hand.  Fireside Catering did a fantastic job with the food and service.  Shawna & I highly recommend them to anyone.

Shawna and Noel's Wedding Menu

Hors D'oeuvres
Long Island Duck Confit Tartlet
Pastrami Spice Tuna
Hubbardston Capri
Fried Bried with Cranberry-Orange Compote
Pumpkin Bisque Shooter

Champagne Toast

First Course
Fall Greens Salad
Dried cherries, wedge of Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese & Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Cornbread, Potato Rolls, & Crystallized Ginger Zucchini Bread

2006 Aaronap Cellars Columbia Gorge Chardonnay
2010 Aaronap Cellars Viognier Curico Valley, Chile

duBreton Quebec Pork Tenderloin
Apples, Sage, & Calvados with Roasted Wasabi dusted Brussels Sprouts & Buttermilk Whipped Potatoes
Cherry Ginger Quail
 Tournees of Potato, Roasted Wasabi dusted Brussels Sprouts & Baby Daikon Sprouts garnish
Quinoa Stuffed Seasonal Squash
Spinach, Red Bell Pepper, Onion, Basil, Westfield Farms Capri Goat Cheese
Fire-roasted Red Bell Pepper Coulis & Califlower Puree 
2010 Aaronap Cellars Yakima Valley Claret
70% Merlot / 30 % Cabernet Franc

Menu just makes you drool, doesn't it?  One of the funniest thing about the meal was that since the caterer provided Reidel stemware, some of the servers thought that a glass that holds half a bottle of wine should be filled with half a bottle of wine!  That was soon corrected by other servers but several of our guests initially received some very large pours!

The wines were very well received that evening.  Even though I'm admittedly biased, I agreed with the guests that these were some of the best that I've made to date.  The Claret was a medium body red wine with dark cherry, blueberry, cocoa, & vanilla aromas.  Medium tannins that left a silky finish on the tongue.  Very nice!

In fact, I'm so pleased with how this wine turned out that I'm thinking of adding it to the future Aaronap Cellars commercial wine line-up.