I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Katherine Middleton, The Royal Wedding. I am DVR’ing two different channels and hosting a few close friends to watch the televised ceremony. We are going to have so much fun! We cannot wait to see her dress and hairstyle (updo or half up/half down, half up/half down is my guess) and shoes (I love shoes!) and then of course, the parties!
Breaking with tradition, this royal, hip couple has opted for a standing social brunch where canapes will be served along with the official choice of champagne (also a break with tradition) Pol Roger NV.
Now, before you think that NV stands for Nevada, let’s have our first wine lesson! NV stands for non-vintage. A vintage wine means that all or primarily all the grapes were grown and harvested in a single and specified year. Different countries have different rules about the percentages allowed so let’s stay with the US rules and here they are; 85% of the grapes must be from the specified vintage unless the wine is designated AVA, like Napa Valley, and then the percentage jumps to 95%. A simplified definition of AVA (American Viticultural Area) is a designated wine grape-growing region in the US distinguished by certain geographic features and defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. There are 198 AVAs as of last year.
Conversely, nonvintage, seen on your wine list as NV, is typically a blend from 2 or more years. This makes for a more consistent wine year after year. Is your head spinning yet?! I know! I feel like that sometimes too! I’m like, “can we just drink the wine and tell ya what we think?!” Moving on, here are my choices for wine, for the Royal Couple’s dinner dance for 300 of their closest friends and hosted by Prince Charles.
For the white varietal, my absolute first choice would be Montrachet (Cote de Beaune region) which is one of 30 or so Burgundy Grand Crus.
Grand Cru (literal definition is “great growth”) means different things in different regions so let’s stay with Burgundy where it generally denotes (but does not guarantee!) the best of the region. Yes, Burgundy produces gorgeous whites, so drink up! General tasting notes would be flowery and earthy on the first nose and perhaps some citrus on second or third taste, with a well balanced and medium body add to the overall joy of this French Chardonnay. Joseph Drouhin would be my hand’s down first choice for a Montrachet.
Chateau Margaux. Mmmmmm, just writing it makes me feel better and drinking a Margaux is like luxuriating in the finest marble tub, with perfectly tempered water and 12 foot maidens attending to your every need. Get the picture? Chatuea Margaux is a wine estate in the Bordeaux region and was one of four wines to achieve the Premier Cru (literal definition “first growth”) in 1855.
Specifically, Chateau Margaux is in the Medoc region and is a left bank wine. I have only had the privilege to drink a Margaux once. It was positively exquisite! We were fortunate to find it for $75 and decided to splurge as it was an anniversary dinner. Years later, I still remember the rich, velvety texture, the beautiful plums and a hints of cherry, with the color seemingly black as the darkest night in the restaurant. As my eyes became more accustomed, I could see that it was the deepest of burgundy in color. Just to be fair, Margaux did go through a period of “average” and is now making a comeback. You can read the complete story here. It’s an amazing story.
Alas, the Royal couple didn’t consult with me on their wine choices, but somehow I think they will do just fine without me. I love how they have made many of their own choices and yet, are also keeping traditions as well. I wish them true joy and a life happiness. A life that is filled with healthy children, continued love for each other and service to the country that loves them.
I will be watching the Royal Wedding live on Friday morning and I’ll be tweeting my reactions, so join me for a Twitter party and let me know what you think of her dress and the wedding party and any thoughts you have!