RKS Wine: The Penniless Pensioner’s Engagement Party: Wine Planning: A Little Set-Back; The Opening Toast and THE BIG BLUFF?

As we recounted in an earlier story PP and Celine Serpent are engaged and I have a contract to select the wines for their engagement party. PP, seeing that Celine has paid my consulting fees, assumed she is paying for the wine but surprised him by saying the groom and groom to be should pick up the bar tab! I think PP must have turned as white as ash knowing his Panamanian bank accounts were still frozen so he pleads me keep it cheap!

We have a couple of things going for us. Firstly, the engagement party reception will be held outside and it most likely will be hot. A warm summer day has a couple of advantages. Guests will the thirsty and will quickly down a welcoming toast and the outside warm air will play havoc with their tastebuds so we can escape without Champagne and its attendant cost. I’m not sure where PP obtained the money to pay for the wines but he said it is an advance for a book he is writing “A Fall From Grace”. How much it is he did not say but he talks of it being made into a movie and he’ll be rolling in dough! But until then he is on a tight budget.

I say let’s try a couple and see which is best suited.

We start with an organic Prosecco in a very traditional flasked bottle. In addition to being made from 100% Glera grapes I think the bottle would appeal to many of Serpent’s friends who are a bit on the flaky and artistic side according to PP. Like most Proseccos it has a platinum colour. Aromas of pear, Granny Smith apples with a twist of pineapple. It has a certain crispness to it but far from the acidic rip of Extra Brut and Brut Champagnes. There is some tangerine, asparagus and kiwi on the palate. I think the guests will not be wowed but not disappointed. As PP knows Celine is a very wealthy lady and people make the assumption the wines she serves will reflect that wealth. Most won’t even dare think they are budget wines! The Big Bluff is what PP is hoping for.

(Villa Teresa Organic Prosecco, Non-Vintage, DOC Prosecco, V.T. SRL, Vittoria Veneto, Italy, $15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 544056, 750 mL, 11%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).

The other choice is a rosé Spumante called La Pìcia from Monte Del Frá, It has a delicate pink colour. On the nose raspberry, peach, strawberry and choke cherry. On the palate a nice crisp acidic bite but no where near the bite you get with Champagne. On the palate whipped cherry Jello…are you seasoned enough to remember that product from the 1960’s? But there is a light dusting of strawberries, ruby grapefruit and cranberries. All in all fruity and light. A blend of Corvina and Molinara.

(La Pìcia Spumante Extra Dry, Monte del Frá, Bardalino Chiaretto, DOC Chiaretto 2019, Monte del Frá, Somma Campagna, Italy, $21.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 19048, 12%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 90/100).

PP is a bit pissed off with me as he thought he made it clear $16.00 a bottle was his limit. However due to his book advance he is willing to splurge. He likes the look of the Villa Teresa bottle which will appeal to Celine’s “flaky artistic friends” but he likes my thoughts on both wines tried so he chooses both. I tell him as long as they are served very chilled both are thirst quenching and in fact both have more character than many entry level Champagnes. Next what are we going to match the canapés with!

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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