I generally drink cocktails at weddings. Not because I'm trying to get drunk. But because the wines being served, in general, are just not that good (and sometimes they're downright wretched). I don't blame the bride and groom, of course, I blame the countless halls and hotels that don't give them better, more affordable options. There are good, affordable, wedding-friendly wines out there--we wrote a whole post about choosing better wedding wines--but they are too often overlooked.
That's why I was thrilled last month when a friend of mine poured the 2009 Domaine Guillemarine Picpoul de Pinet ($9.99) at his wedding in Northern California, and he's not even a wine geek. Of course, this wine isn't strictly for nuptials. In fact, it's one of our staff's favorites for warm weather. And it's hot today, even in San Francisco.
Picpoul, also called Folle Blanche, means "lip stinger" in French, a fitting appellation considering the tingling sensation that this racy wine creates. Definitely not a flabby, flat wine, Picpoul is often compared to Muscadet because of its high acidity, saline nature and affinity for seafood. The Domaine Guillemarine comes from vineyards just meters away from the oyster beds of the Bassin de Thau. And those fabulous little bivalves complement its clean, crisp character remarkably well. Our staff has also suggested pairing it with salad niçoise, roasted chicked, sushi, spicy curries, rich, oily fishes like mackerel or sardines, and even with cured meats. But the thing I like best about this wine, and the reason I think it was a fantastic choice for my friend's wedding, is that it's also fabulous as an aperitif.
So if you're looking for the perfect little black dress of a wine, something that goes with everything, pleases nearly everyone and is affordable enough to buy by the case for a big celebration. Even if that celebration is Wednesday night.