Saturday, June 15, 2013

Guest Post: Wine, Weddings and Hidden Reenies

It's a dreary day here in Chicago, but there are a lot of exciting and celebratory activities going on in the city today.  For one, the Blackhawks are going to be winning game 2 in the Stanley Cup finals.  Yes, I'm a big fan, and though I may not be able to watch the full game tonight, I will be ready to toast to a win later this evening (gosh I hope I didn't jinx anything).  Second event to raise a glass to is the wedding I will be working today.  I'm excited to once again be working with Loren of Clementine Events at the Chicago Art Institute.  To me, a wedding at this location exudes culture and class and seems only right to have a glass of wine in hand the whole time (I will watch others but not take part in this activity while working of course).

Toasts and cheers all around with your beverage of choice.  Wine however, has always been at the top of my list. So, when my wine aficionado Uncle Tom offered to write a blog post about wine, it was a no brainer.  Uncle Tom and his family have been friends with my family forever (since before I was born) and have thus adopted the family titles.  He is a part of the wine community in St. Louis and has really developed his wine knowledge to the point where my family benefits greatly whenever we get together...lots of laughs and tons of good wine.

Enjoy Uncle Tom's breakdown of wine and weddings, and take a peak at some of our good times together.

Wine, weddings and hidden Reenies

Weddings make my head spin. Having planned 3 weddings - my own, my daughter’s and my son’s - I know a little about how complicated things can get. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t plan alone. My wife, Judy did most - check that - all of the work. 

Wine. Now there’s something I do know a little about. Wine is so versatile, it’s really the only beverage you need at your wedding.

Let’s think about some of the things that happen at every wedding, and how wine fits in:

  • The ceremony: If you’re Catholic and are having the ceremony at a church, there will be wine. This will not be good wine. The swill you drink will be either pink or red, and most likely be served by the priest saying the mass.
  • The reception: One of the most important events that occurs at the reception is the toast. There may be several toasts: the best man, father of the bride, maid or matron of honor, and really, anyone who wants to can make a toast. But, the one thing that’s the same for all the toasters is the wine, in this case Champagne or sparkling wine. Champagne is a region in northeast France. Only wine from the region can legally have “Champagne” on the label. Prices for Champagne run from  about $40 to thousands of dollars per bottle. Champagne is one of my favorite beverages on the planet. Everything else, whether it’s Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain or bubblies from the United States is simply “sparkling wine”. California makes some great sparklers - as good as many Champagnes. Prices for California bubbles range from $20 to over $1,000 per bottle
  • The food: Let’s go course by course. First course: with salads or appetizers, I definitely like something white, or, maybe a rose’. You can also stick with sparkling wine here. You want something light and crisp, with a touch of acid to get those salivary glands ready for the main course. I prefer a Pinot Grigio from Italy, a Sauvignon Blanc from California or White Burgundy from Burgundy, France. Main course: Definitely red. Reds and food are a perfect marriage (pun intended). If you’re having fish, especially salmon, domestic Pinot Noir or red Burgundy fits the bill. Chicken calls for domestic Pinot Noir, Merlot or Grenache from California, Spain or France. And with hearty steaks, you just can’t beat Cabernet based wines like French Bordeaux, Italian Super Tuscans and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Desert: Syrah, Cabernet or Merlot with chocolate; sweet wines like Moscato and Sauternes with your sweeter desserts; and finally, don’t forget about fortified wines like Ports and Madeiras, which are really great all by themselves. 
  • The drunks: Ahh the wedding drunk. Is there anything more traditional? I’ve seen people drunk at weddings that I didn’t even know drank. If you plan to get rip roaring drunk at a wedding, why waste your time on wine? You some kinda wuss?  Huh??  But this is a post about wine, and granted, this is a stretch, but I’m going to go with Grappa on this one. Technically, Grappa is not wine - it’s a spirit. You know, “hard stuff”. But it’s made from grapes, and stems, and seeds and anything else you might find on the floor. Reenie’s dad, Terry, hates the stuff. But he never had any taste in anything - except maybe his women. His wife, Mary Ann is a saint. Trust me on this one. Grappa’s alcohol content ranges from 70 - 120 proof. If you want to get hammered fast, go for the Grappa.

So. We talked about wine and weddings. But what’s with the “hidden Reenies”? Just for fun and a FREE REENIE ROSE CALENDAR, scroll through the wedding pics below and find the hiding Reenies. You’re going to have to look closely. The first five readers who respond correctly get the calendars.

BTW, one of the old geezer’s below is me giving a toast at Becky's (my daughter) wedding.

Tom Bush
314-583-8431 (cell)

My parents with my Uncle Tom and Auntie Judy.

I will give away a "Reenie" and say that my face does not properly reflect how good his speech really ones.  Come on Loreen!  Geez.

Besides wine, we always have good food.  Uncle Tom's son, Michael, is a chef, and his daughter-in-law, Dani, is a pastry chef.  What an excellent pair!

Proud papa of his son (Michael), daughter (Becky) and granddaughter (Grace).

My family all together at Dani and Michael's wedding where the wine was paired beautifully.
One of my favorite pics of my favorite people.


  1. This guest post was such a great idea!! I love wine and it's nice to have recommendations from someone who knows their stuff!!

  2. Ok are you hidden behind the camera or is this a trick question??