wedding wines


A memorable wedding for me is not made up of bride gowns or witty speeches. It is, of course, the wine list that strikes the chord. A good wine list can renew faith in the institution of marriage. It can restore the deepest respect for the happy couple who bear the responsibility of coating the palates of their most discerning guests.

A wedding I attended this year was so dry and the wine list so badly unattended that the smiles of the happy couple were marred only by the stain of absence lingering on my mind. By contrast, much speculation surrounded the wine list of Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle. It has been leaked in bits revealing the presence of English, Burgundian, American and, of course, Champagne.

We would expect nothing more of a royal wedding but in these days of royal prudence and careful budgeting, I was amused to hear one of the celebrity wedding planners commentating on the occasion saying, “We must remember, Meghan will probably be buying her own dress… she has after all made a bit of money from her acting career!” 

So who covered the wine? I would like to think that Charles, with his passion for Champagne Bollinger would at least boot it down to Aÿ in the Jag and pick up a few cases. For the American wines, I expect a worthy merchant in London could step in?

The Queen also now produces her own sparkling, so there is no reason why she shouldn’t show it off at her grandson’s wedding. It would be churlish not to!

It leads me to think what would I serve, given a healthy budget, at my own equivalent bash. I came up with the following list:

Arrival: Bride Valley Brut Reserve, English Sparkling Wine (England)

Speeches: Champagne Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee (France)

Wines for the meal:

White - Shabo Telti-kuruk Grande Reserve 2016 (Ukraine)

Red - Roccolo Grassi, Valpolicella superiore, 2012 (Italy)


Domaine Bory Rivesaltes, 1927 (France)

Of course at the end of all this, local beers from barrel and cask would be offered to assist with ongoing revelry and rehydration. 


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COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

Climate change podcast

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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