09 August 2005

Folie à Deux Menage à Trois... ou neuf?

For my brother's wedding reception, we took advantage of our friendship with a local distributor, who got us a great deal on everything. I've already talked about the amazing Saint-Meyland, but what about the other wines for the reception?

Most of the guests were beer and vodka drinkers; we went for Heineken, Bud Light, and Ketel One. For others, we had some decent single malt whisky Glenfiddich and a surprisingly smooth and tasty French gin by the name of Citadelle. (Full disclosure: I'm drinking straight ice cold Citadelle as I type this. Can't wait to try it in a traditional martini.) It's distilled four times, and the herbal components are based on a recipe from 1771.

The grubby-faced kid tugs at my pant leg. "But mister, what about the wine?" All right...

Again, the number of serious and casual wine drinkers at this wedding could be counted on one hand. A hand that belonged to a particularly inept high school shop teacher. But instead of going cheap, we just went fruit-forward and a bit on the sweet side. For that reason, we used all three varieties of the Folie à Deux Menage à Trois. Now let the record show that I think their Amador County Zinfandel is one of the greatest wines under $20 to hit the market in years. The Menage à Trois line is a little sweet for my tastes: the white is comprised of Moscato, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc, though the musky sweet flavor of the Moscato tends to overwhelm the other whites; the rosé is made out of the unholy but tasty combination of Merlot, Syrah, and Gewurztraminer (actually a bit drier than the white, has a nice apple flavor to it); and the red is made from Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Out of the three, the red is my favorite with the rosé a close second. The red, while a bit too much for casual sipping, makes a great wine to pair with smoked pork barbecue (an important matching tip here in the South) or as a non-threatening introduction for those who say they hate red wine. The rosé goes great with Mexican, Indian, or anything spicy, plus it has an absolutely gorgeous color--sort of a desert rose with just a hint of lavender during the pour. (The French have dozens of words to describe pink wines, all of them quite poetic. None of them are useful outside of the backroads of Provence.)

I'm not a fan of the white, but that doesn't mean it's not a good wine. In fact, it's an excellent stepping stone if you want to wean anyone off White Zinfandel. Might be a good match for Thai cuisine as long as you're not eating something with a sweet coconut milk sauce.

All three went over quite well, and as last man standing at the end of the reception, I took home the majority of the alcholic leftovers. I did leave the catering staff with every bottle that was less than half full plus a case of beer, and told them to drink and be merry.

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