Tag Archives: organic wines

A Drink of the Gods!

16 Sep

So, last post I chatted to y’all about the food.

The spread we’re putting on gives everyone a chance to eat something we think they’d enjoy, so we’re pretty happy with our choice!

Another thing Mr Big and I needed to mull over was the beverages, and this task was a lot easier for us than the catering. At Tamburlaine, the packages include wine, sparkling wine, beer, soft drinks, and juice. They probably have water there as well (it’s just not stated on the package). We’ve also requested sparkling grape juice for the pre-teens who want something sparkly to drink during toasts (or just during the party).

The wine to be drunk will be either from the Wine Lovers Range or the Members Reserve from Tamburlaine Wines. The wines are said to be organic, and therefore, the hangover is meant to be less severe. We’ll be going for the Wine Lovers Range and over the course of the planning year-and-a-half, have sampled the wines.

Like the food, there were several things we needed to consider for our guests:

  1. My family and friends aren’t big wine drinkers. The wine I do manage to get them to drink are mostly the sweeter wines – Moscato, late harvest Rieslings, and botrytis.
  2. Mr Big is a BIG red wine drinker, which is ironic since he’s a Kiwi, and the Kiwi climate is better suited for white wines and milder reds, like the Pinot Noir. His favourite red drink is the Shiraz.
  3. I’m a white wine drinker. I love my sweeter wines, but really don’t mind anything else. I like my wines to be milder, and can drink red wines with a softer character.
  4. There will be Kiwis there, so we need to accommodate for them too. New Zealand is known for their white wines, specifically Sauvignon Blanc and Rieslings. That means we need a good range of white wines which will please the Kiwi palette.
  5. Not everyone is a wine drinker, so we needed some alcoholic beverages which weren’t wine. Enter my dad, who knows his beers
  6. There will be kids there and teenagers under 18! We needed to ensure they were happy with their drinks too. (The legal drinking age is 18 in Australia, as opposed to 21.)

With all of that said, here is what we’ll be drinking:

White Wines:

Red Wines:

Sparkling:

Light beer: Hahn Light

Standard beers: (choice of 2)

  • Tooheys New
  • Pure Blonde

Spirits: On a per consumption basis of $7 / nip

Non-alcoholic Drinks:

  • Orange juice
  • Water
  • Soft drinks
  • Sparkling grape juice

First off, let’s go through why we chose those particular wines.

Basically, these are the wines that showcased the flavours of Tamburlaine, and particularly, of Australia. I’m not patriotic (although I do like Australia), but we thought it would be pretty bad form to give Kiwis Sauv Blancs and Rieslings from an Australian winery. Hunter Valley is known for their Verdelhos, so we wanted to showcase this by using the Verdelho as a wine. The Marsanne was chosen because it was unique – it was mild, flavoursome, and easy-drinking. The Late Harvest Riesling was chosen for my family and friends – it’s not too heavy, it’s mildly sweet, and so, good to drink for those who aren’t really into wine but wanted to drink something alcoholic other than beer.

The red wines were easy to choose. Shiraz was chosen because Mr Big loves it, and it’s his wedding. He felt bad for wanting to choose it, since not everyone is a Shiraz-drinker, but I told him that, if we were going to have a wedding, the Shiraz needed to be present. The GSM is similar to the Marsanne – it’s unique, mild and easy to drink. I love drinking the GSM because it makes me feel classy, without the heaviness of the Shiraz. The Rose was again, another easy choice. It’s a red drink, but it’s not heavy like most reds. It’s a good one for my friends and family who don’t drink too much and want something mild.

Both sparkling wines were chosen simply because they’re awesome. Who doesn’t love drinking a bubbly beverage? What’s even better is Tamburlaine will be adding splashes of fruit juices to their Vintage Blanc de Blanc during cocktail hour to add some extra flavour. The Scarlett Bubbles is the closest thing Tamburlaine have to a Moscato, so I know my friends will be chugging that one down.

The rest of the drinks are pretty self-explanatory. For those who don’t drink wine, we have beer. Mr Big and I aren’t too fond of beer. He can drink it, I can barely drink it (read: get halfway through one bottle and give the rest to Mr Big). My dad, a big beer drinker, suggested those three, so we decided to go with his choices, since we trust him wholeheartedly!

The non-alcoholic drinks will be for our guests ages 0-17. My junior bridesmaid/Groom’s Homie Oddball will be of that group, so they’ll be drinking fruit juices, soft drinks, sparkling grape juices, and perhaps even water. We wanted to make sure the kids were happy with the choices of drinks, so we added the sparkling grape juice, particularly for the pre-teens like Oddball.

Spirits, unfortunately, are dished out on a per-consumption basis of $7 per nip. I’m sort of glad about this, because I don’t want (too many) shots at the wedding. If our bridesmaids or groomsmen buy a round of nips for a round of shots, well, ok, that’s their choice, but I’m not a big spirit drinker to begin with (it goes STRAIGHT to my head) so I’m sort of happy that spirits are on a per consumption basis…

And that’s our drinks folks! What do you think? Did we consider our guests? Do you think it’s good that Mr Big and I chose the Shiraz over, say, a Merlot? Do you think anyone will be bummed out that the spirits will be on a per consumption basis?

A Weekend at the Hunter: Wine Tastings, Cheese Platters, Good Food and Crappy Skin

9 Sep

Good afternoon good folk!

This weekend was AH-mazing.

We (GP, MoH M&M, M&M’s boyfie who will now be called Don, and myself) drove up on the Friday night to Broke, a smaller section of the greater Hunter Valley Wine Area. The journey there was CREEPY AS CRAP, as we had to drive through small country roads and it was literally pitch black all around us. Add to that listening to Nightvale podcasts which would make H.P. Lovecraft proud, and it was a creepy, thought entertaining, ride to the Rosa House in Broke.

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The Rosa House – an old-fashioned farmstay! ❤ // Personal image

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The view from GP and my bedroom // Personal image.

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The porch out back – with dining table, barbeque, and a stunning view // Personal image

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The stunning view! // Personal image

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The dining room and GP ❤ // Personal image

[Just to note: these were taken on the day we left, at Junior Homie Oddball’s request. She couldn’t come with us since she had to stay at home and so homework. She also had Chinese school on Saturday and didn’t want to miss it. She’s such a diligent kid!]

When we did make it, we settled in for two rounds of Dominion and then called it a night. The bed was uber comfy and I fell asleep almost instantly!

The next morning was glorious! It was a warm day (about 31 degrees Celsius) and cloudy, so enough coverage for it to be relatively cool. There was also a slight breeze, which made the day just that little perfect. We took M&Ms and Don around the Hunter Valley wine area and showed them the sights.

Despite the fact that my oldest sister is my MoH, she hadn’t been on any of the previous Hunter Valley trips with us, so hadn’t seen any of the wedding stuff at all. This trip was the first time she had seen the reception space and got an idea where we were also having the ceremony (I don’t think she’s been inside the Gardens where we’re having the ceremony either).

Anyway, we toured them around, bought (several) bottles of wine, had some gelato, and then went to the wine-tasting that was included as a part of the accommodation package. The particular place we went to was called Ascella Wines, and they do all organic wines. They also had an organic cheese platter and the cheeses were TO DIE FOR. The wines were pretty amazing too. At the end of the tasting, we bought a whole lot of Shiraz wine and some Pina Colada RTD-type drinks.

By this point, however, my skin decided to tell me to EFF OFF and had decided to break out. Now, previous to THAT, I was getting a few pimples too. So by the time we got back to the Rosa House, my eyelids had puffed out, my skin was hot and rashy and my face wasn’t looking particularly appealing.

I slept it off for a little bit and then we had to get ready for dinner.

Dinner was at Leaves & Fishes.

Now for those who don’t know Leaves & Fishes, it is an amazing little restaurant which catches its fish daily from the (man-made) lake which the restaurant is built on! It’s a nice little place with awesome atmosphere, good staff and most of all, AWESOME FOOD. Here’s a picture!

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Us at Leaves & Fishes, stuffed from the food. From left to right: GP, myself, MoH M&Ms, and Don / Personal image.

(Can you not see how… blotchy I look? BLAH.)

Anyway, after an awesome dinner and conversations, we returned home, played some more card games, and then passed out for sleep. By the time I woke up in the morning, my skin was blotchy, my pimples had grown to enormous sizes, and I was looked haggard. GP managed to make me feel pretty, regardless, but BOY was I dreading the makeup and hair trial…

Next up, THE HAIR AND MAKEUP TRIAL.

First DIY Project!

2 Apr

Hello all!

I mentioned in an earlier post how I was planning a whole bunch of DIY-ish projects. Well, we started one yesterday!

This project is for the reception, and involves us cutting wine bottles using a bottle cutter specially designed for cutting bottles (it’s got knobs to adjust for heights and everything!). We bought  it for $40 from an Australian website (http://www.etchingindustries.com.au/g2-bottle-cutter/ – the G2 bottle cutter!). The bottle themselves were provided by the lovely Lou from Tamburlaine, our wedding reception coordinator. She’s been so awesome throughout the process, and providing us with bottles has saved us SO much time!

As for the project itself, we’d been putting it off for some time, but because Monday was our “stay at home and be lazy mofos” day, I got restless.

Seriously restless!

I asked if GP wanted to try cutting a few bottles to make sure our DIY project would work. So we started with two bottles – the Sparkling Scarlett Bubbles bottle and Verdelho bottles from Tamburlaine Organic Wines.

It was a failure.

Let me explain…

A few weeks prior, I had removed the labels by soaking the bottles in a bucket for a few hours and then carefully peeling. The Scarlett Bubbles’ labels were difficult to peel (I had to use a scraper to get it all off), but the Verdelho bottle just peeled right off beautifully. I was happy and thought that this might not be as hard as I initially thought.

Now skip ahead a few weeks to yesterday night.

After the labels were soaked, peeled and gone, we used the bottle cutter to etch a line over the base of the bottle where we wanted it to detach. This is a lot easier then it sounds. All it requires is some gentle pressure and a steady hand. GP was able to etch two relatively thin lines in the bottle (although he made the lines slightly thick because of “re-etching” – i.e. going over the already etched lines. We later learnt that a thinner line makes it a lot easier to detach).

After we etched the lines we got two big bowls – a bowl filled with boiling water from the kettle, and a bowl filled with iced water. We then began dunking each into the water baths, making sure to keep them in there for 5-10 seconds each dunk. Our first effort was a complete disaster. The Verdelho broke off but was crooked, and the Scarlett Bubbles didn’t even budge.

Disappointed, we decided we’d try again, but this time only with the Verdelho bottles.

This time I did most of the etch (one solid, thin line from start to finish, except for one bottle which I thought I hadn’t etched) and GP did the dunking into the water baths. This time we used a pot over a stove fire on a low simmer to keep the water at boiling point. We kept the ice water bowl.

And it was perfect!

Let me show you a picture! 🙂

wine bottle centrepiece candle holder

It’s a little hard to see on the image, but the glass was smooth all the way around. We’re going to sand down the glass just in case because we don’t want any unwanted little fragments ruining our night and our project. But overall, the bottle were perfectly detached!

All in all, we’re both super stoked that it worked! I’ve soaked and de-labelled four more Verdelho bottles and we also want to attempt the Bubbles bottle again with our new technique.

Wish us luck!

E x