by Jenny Benzie, Advanced Sommelier + Certified Wine Educator, Proprietress of Épernay Wine & Spirits
She lives in New York, he lives in Boston, and they met on a balmy summer night at a lively cocktail party on Nantucket. Fast forward through their whirlwind long-distance courtship, and the fine gent has decided to propose to the woman of his dreams at Steps Beach with family members watching from behind the dunes. Their parents host a lavish engagement party for them at the historic Dreamland Theater Harbor View Room.
Couples these days tend to be the joining of two people who have long since flown the nest of their childhood homes with Mom and Dad. They’ve made new lives for themselves that include all the furnishings and fixings. The merger that ensues includes negotiations about which set of flatware to keep, whose bedroom set will end up in the guest room, where to put all the television sets, not to mention negotiations about how big of a place to acquire.
Keeping this in mind, the bride-to-be and handsome groom may not register for or even want more “stuff.” What they do need, however, is an outstanding bar set-up in order to properly entertain their friends and family as the newly betrothed Mr. & Mrs. What this means for guests is instead of getting your friend a gravy boat that will collect dust in the cabinet, stock them with something they will most definitely use (and share) that is creative, memorable, and not-youraverage gift. This is where you stock their bar with crafty, unique beverage items that they wouldn’t normally purchase on their own.
Each bottle of Clase Azul Reposado Tequila is a work of art. It’s the perfect marriage between the finest tequila and a beautiful handcrafted, hand-painted Talavera carafe. Hand-sculpted and individually painted, no bottle is exactly alike and neither is any life as a married couple. The ultra-premium reposado (meaning “rested” or aged for less than one year in oak) tequila is made with 100% organic Tequilana Weber Blue agaves. Once the tequila is distilled, it is aged for 8 months in hand-select oak barrels. The color is an intense amber, with aromas of fruit, vanilla and caramel. It is smooth on the palate and should be enjoyed as a sipping tequila served neat or with one ice cube. Rumor has it that after you open the bottle, you can “ring” the bell dome top and hear it sing as you celebrate your nuptials for years to come.
Joyous celebrations such as a wedding invite everyone to toast and express their best wishes for the couple entering matrimony. This can be through the best man’s speech, a song performed by one of your bridesmaids, or simply a warm exchange of eye contact with those you encounter going table to table throughout the reception. Your new life together will embody hospitality, integrity, warmth and playfulness. All of these attributes are also what is so special about Absolut Elyx Vodka. With their logo including the pineapple of hospitality, this is a perfect symbol (and gift) for the newlyweds. This is the first ever single estate vodka, made from winter wheat grown exclusively from a family owned estate in Sweden. It is handcrafted and manually distilled in a vintage 1921 copper column still. This handcrafting gives it real quality and character for a consistently luscious liquid rich silky smooth mouthfeel and finish. The production of Elyx is 100% carbon neutral with no computers here, only human intuition used to masterfully handcrafted this vodka, which is also important in every marriage.
Considered an elixir of long life, which is what we want for the new couple, Chartreuse Yellow Liqueur is a French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737 and named after the monks’ Grande Chartreuse monastery, located in the Chartreuse Mountains in the general region of Grenoble, France. It is made according to the instructions set out in a manuscript given to them centuries ago aged with 130 herbs, plants, flowers and secret ingredients combined in a wine alcohol base. It is presented in the traditional Chartreuse liqueur bottle embossed with the seal of La Grande Chartreuse. Chartreuse gives its name to the entirely natural color of the original bottling of Green Charteuse, where Yellow Chartreuse is a slightly sweeter version and colored with saffron. To bring out all of its flavor, it should be consumed very cold, even on the rocks and is traditionally considered an after dinner drink to aide in digestion (which also may come in handy in the ups and downs of married life). This is one of very few liquors that continues to age and improve in the bottle as does a long, prosperous marriage.
Time to raise a glass as we toast the fall wedding season.