Wedding Season

Rule # 76: No excuses, play like a champion. Drink bubbles!

I need to talk to you guys right away about something very important. We got three big weeks ahead of us… It’s wedding season!

Well actually the first part of wedding season is coming to a close around here. When the summer heat begins to subside (or if it ever gets here… it’s raining as I post), all the late summer/early fall weddings will commence. And no one is more aware of the amount of people getting hitched than I, as every week my lovely and talented girlfriend, Amber McKenney of Sweet On Cake, sculpts and frosts and decorates wedding cakes and grooms cakes for the soon to be wed.

And now a reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: just kidding! (Bonus points to whoever can tally all the Wedding Crasher references in this post)

No wine epitomizes weddings like sparkling wine; so what better selection for a Sunday bottles posting than Iron Horse Vineyards Wedding Cuvée.

As some of you may know, I used to work at Iron Horse and have a great affinity for sparkling wine. Now, in past vintages, this Pinot Noir-based sparkler never had any color, but the 2007 vintage has lovely rosé color to it, adding to its allure. According to winemaker David Munksgard, while doing the final blends in 2008 from the 2007 harvest, there was a little bit of the cold-soaked Pinot Noir left over from the making of the their Brut Rosé, and so the decided to do a trial by blending it into the Wedding Cuvée to give it a pink hue. The result was positive.

Like any good sparkling wine, this one is dangerously easy to drink. Phenomenal you might say. The nose, phenomenal: ripe with strawberries, stone fruits and minerality. The taste, phenomenal: rich and creamy with notes of strawberry, cherry, and apricot.

If you’re not familiar with the Iron Horse story, they are one of Sonoma County’s most prestigious, small, independent, estate, and family owned wineries. The winery produced their first vintage of Estate Chardonnay in 1978 and officially opened in 1979 with the first vintage of Estate Pinot Noir. The first vintage for the Sparkling Wines followed in 1980.

The tasting room is located at the end of Ross Station Road in the town of Sebastopol. It offers sweeping views of the Green Valley from its outdoor tasting room perched atop a hill.

For me, sparkling wine is always my go-to wine; unfortunately since leaving Iron Horse, my collection is not what it used to be. Fortunately on this evening we had two bottles.

“We,” being Amber, my good friends, Neil and Kat and myself. I don’t think I know three better people to have a dinner party with. The four of us LOVE food. I’ve literally seen Neil eat until he is uncomfortably full, rolling on the floor, but still so gluttonously pleased. I have also done my fair share of over-eating and reveling in my discomforting achievement.

On the menu was marinated pork tenderloin with a mango, peach salsa and rosemary roasted potatoes. The idea was to drink the Wedding Cuvée with dinner, but as it turned out, while Amber and I were waiting for Neil and Kat to arrive, we drank it to ourselves. Fortunately Neil came prepared with a bottle of Pinot and a 2nd bottle of Wedding Cuvée that we threw in the fridge and enjoyed with dessert.

Before we knew it, it was midnight and we were pleasantly full with food and bubbles. Good friends, good food, and good wine = another successful dinner party. Holy shirts and pants look at the time. Great talk guys. Do yourself a favor and go out and pick up some Iron Horse sparkling wines, and don’t forget to share.


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