Pitchfork, Margaret River Shiraz, 2009.
Pitchfork, Margaret River Shiraz, 2009.

Wine for the bridal table

WE ALL have prejudices and pre-conceived notions, and who doesn't think most gay men are smarter, better coiffed and coutured, have higher incomes, are better at interior design and fashion than straight blokes?

They've got it all, yet they still insist the state recognise their marriages.

Marriage was once a religious rite, with all manner of unsavoury accoutrements, such as feudal landlords having first dibs at the bride and families of brides having to pay families of grooms vast sums of money to take their daughters.

How little things change. Marriage is now a commercial rite, with all manner of unsavoury accoutrements, such as Facebook friends having first dibs at the bride and families of brides having to pay vast sums of money to wedding planners, florists, David Jones, photographers, celebrants, venues, car hirers, the government, and resorts for the families of grooms to take their daughters.

The average cost of a wedding is apparently $40,000. Itemised, there's $5k on a ring that will probably be on eBay within seven years. Say $5k on a dress worn once. A wedding planner? $2k? Flowers, $1k. Celebrant $1k. Car hire $1k.

Then there's one of the weirdest charges; the photographer, who will put the bridal party in poses they have never dreamed of and will never repeat, in a location to which they have never been and will never return, wearing clothes they have never worn and will never again because they hate them – think three-piece suits in 40 degrees – all the while missing the frivolity the guests are enjoying, drinking “free” beer at the bride's family's expense.

A hundred guest is not an uncommonly large nor small wedding, but feeding that many half-decent food? $5k easily.

Honeymoon suite with Bollinger in the Maldives, $15k.

You are already up to $55k, have blown the budget and still don't have wine on the table.

Why would otherwise intelligent, sensitive, stylish same-sex couples want that?

It's no wonder so much wedding wine is so ordinary ... unlike these:

(Yabby Lake) Cooralook Strathbogie Ranges Sauvignon Blanc 2010, $16.50. Not as meek and mild as earlier vintages nor as in your face as the opposition. A delightful, three bears compromise. Great value. 8.8/10.

Ballast Stone Stonemason Fleurieu Peninsula Brut Cuvee, NV, $12ish. Nifty Zork-style bubbly seal had the whole wedding entertained for, well, moments; the contents much longer and much more entertained. 8.4/10.

Shaw Vineyard Estates Merriman Premium Shiraz 2008, $45. The cool change arrived just in time so we could enjoy 15.5% even more. But it conceals its whopping alcohol content well. Lovely wine ... especially on a cool night. 9/10.

Penny's Hill McLaren Vale Edwards Rd Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009, $24. For one so young this has got a lot going on, and it certainly wasn't going to last long enough to test its cellarability. 8.6/10.

Pitchfork (Hay Shed Hill) Margaret River Shiraz 2009, $16. Most satisfactory shiraz for a summer's night and at a summer's night price, too. 8.5/10.

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