Thursday, December 12, 2013

(My) Wedding Review Part 1: The Wine

I know it may seem surprising if you've stuck with my writing for a while, but a woman actually agreed to marry me. I didn't even have to bribe her! That happened a couple of months ago and since I finally have some photos to accompany this article, I thought I'd take a moment to go over the food and beverages we decided to use and why.

Writing for a publication that focuses on the best of the region we call home was both a blessing and a curse. For one, I have a reputation to live up to. Our friends and family know this and expect the best from us. On the other hand, we're also fairly early in our careers and were financing the wedding ourselves.

Would it be possible to wow everybody with locally-sourced wine, beer, and food on a budget? Of course!

I'll do this series in three parts. Wine, beer, and food will be presented in that order. Up first, the wine.

One theme Alyssa and I really wanted to run with was Portland. It's where we live, where we got married, and where we both work. A good portion of our guests were coming from out of town and our wedding would be the perfect opportunity to highlight why we enjoy this city so much. Long time readers will probably know where I'm going with this, but for those of you who may not have guessed already, it was an easy decision for us to source our wine from Enso Urban Winery on SE Stark. About Enso:
We are a small-batch artisan wine producer, located in the heart of Portland’s Eastside. Our passion is to make wines that speak of the place where they were grown, the climate they were grown in, and their true varietal character. Let each bottle be it’s own enso – an expression of the moment.
Enso embodies everything I love about the culture of the West Coast and they just so happen to make all of their wine in downtown Portland. On top of their wine being delicious and very affordable, it was a no-brainer. So what did we select?
Bartender provided by
RESONATE Red #7 ($16/bottle) - Enso's RESONATE series are their current red or white blend that they feel like making at any given moment. Each iteration of RESONATE changes, so you'll never get the same thing each time. We chose #7 (which was on its way out for #8 soon) because of the specific blend. At 67% Washington Sangiovese and 33% Washington Barbera, it's both a crowd pleaser and an Italian blend that meshes perfectly with Alyssa's palate.

So how was it received? Turns out we didn't actually have a lot of red wine drinkers in the house. That said, those who do like red wine really enjoyed it. Having something local was a big hit and the fact it highlighted Italian varietals made it very unique compared to typical wedding wine. I myself stuck with this most of the night and couldn't have been happier.

RESONATE White #5 ($14/bottle) - While there weren't quite as many red wine drinkers, it turns out that significantly more liked white wine. According to those who I informally poled, this was either the best or one of the best white wines they've ever had. This blend comes to us at 85% Washington Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Oregon Muller-Thurgau, so quite possibly something our guests will never experience again either.
Warning: consumption of white wine can cause, uh, this...
What I learned and advice: We didn't know much about the beverage preferences of our guests ahead of time, so we made an assumption regarding how much everybody would eat or drink by estimating high. This didn't end up being much of a problem for us since I had no issue giving extra bottles away or taking them home, but I also could have saved money on wine by purchasing less. If you're comfortable doing so and want to make sure you're putting your money where it counts, it may be worthwhile to casually poll your guests regarding their beverage preferences.

That said, picking good wine that you actually enjoy will go a long way with guests who enjoy wine. Your crazy aunt may like box wine or 2 Buck Chuck, but my philosophy is to only serve wine that you yourself would want to drink. If you don't know much about wine, find a friend who does and have them help you pick something that meets your budget. One white blend and one red blend was absolutely the right way to go.

Up next: beer!


Post a Comment