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Cuisine: Personal Touches

Personalize your wedding with the many wonders of wine

Imagine you and your fiancé getting to know each other over a box filled with 50 of the most tantalizing aromatics: lavender, coffee, licorice, and strawberry, to name a few. Which scents are intoxicating? Which flavors irresistible? Which would you want on your dinner plate or in your wine?

With a talented sommelier guiding you through the sensory box, you’ve got the makings for a truly personalized wine cellar. It’s just what Joshua Orr aims for with every bridal consultation. Whether he’s designing the wine menu for a 40-guest rehearsal dinner or the wine collection for the couple’s home, Vineagogo’s Advanced Sommelier comes fully armed with vials of liquid personality.

“It’s such a personalized experience,” says Susan Carre, CEO of Vineagogo. The latest—and dare we say cutest—product of the food-truck craze is the company’s “Merlot,” a retrofitted 1964 milk truck that delivers wine. In addition to traveling wine services, Vineagogo offers in-home wine tasting events, an online wine store, and a wine club. “People know they like certain varietals but many don’t typically think about what ingredient it is that they like in a particular type of wine. Josh will go through vials and vials of scents to get a thorough flavor profile that will give them that insight. Every menu, every collection, is tailored to the couple’s lifestyle and palate.”

At merely 27 years old, Orr is one to watch in the world of wine. Having lived in Burgundy, France, he is fluent in French, and global when it comes to grapes. He’s approachable and loves to talk of travel—making him an easy drinking partner—but he can also hold his own among the masters. He’s one of less than 400 Advanced Sommeliers in the world, and he’s just been invited to take the Master exam.

Having one of the world’s next Master Sommeliers design the wine menu at your wedding is like a gift in itself. But that’s not all Vineagogo can do for weddings. In addition to bridal registries, they also offer personalized wine bottles, themed tasting events, even a San Diego tasting box containing chocolates from Chuao and Venissimo cheese.

Got guests coming in from all parts? Invite them to “The Traveler’s Guide to Drinking Wine”—a Vineagogo signature tasting series introducing wines from Buenos Aires, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Sydney, or the Greek Isles.

“The Traveler’s Guide is a great way to spark conversation,” Carre says. “It gets people talking about themselves, where they’ve been and where they’ve always wanted to go.”

Of course, you could always go pink, and treat your BFFs to the “Pink is Worth Trying” series: a colorful tour of French rosés  from the Rhone Valley. There’s also “Old vs. New,” “Cap or Cork,” and another crowd favorite, “So Many Wines So Little Time.” At Vineagogo, customization is key. All they need to know is how do you go go?

— Rowena Kelley


An Ideal Red for the Newly Wed

What better way to celebrate friendship, love, and a wedding than with a big bold red wine aptly named Bridesmaid. Napa-based Crocker & Starr, known for its estate-grown, handcrafted wines, produces this Bordeaux-style blend, aged in French oak for more than 24 months to make it silky smooth. Stellar winemaker Pam Starr has created an alluring sipper with a bouquet of blackberry, dark chocolate, Bing cherry, cassis, and cinnamon. We love the bottle design with the sexy bridal silhouette, and think it’s the perfect gift for a bride to bestow upon her closest circle. Bridesmaids might want to pitch in for a magnum and add their signatures to the bottle as a sentimental keepsake for the bride, and great excuse for the wedding party to reconvene in the future and enjoy the excellent wine. Or  better yet, join the fashionable trend—start a wine cellar for the new happy couple.

Bon Affair

A Sophisticated Spritzer

A drink you can indulge in without the guilt? This might just be a dream come true. Bon Affair is a light wine spritzer with all-natural ingredients, pure water, Sonoma wine, electrolytes, cranberry extracts, no sugar, and a proprietary anti-hangover formula. It sounds too good to be true, but lucky for us, it’s legit and delish. Founder Jayla Siciliano, formerly of Diesel and Burton, spent years creating the ultimate stylish and healthy wine. The effervescent, delicious four-ounce Bon Affair Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir have just 45 calories and only six percent alcohol, so you can indulge without the headache. Ladies, forget everything you know about wine coolers, this delicious refresher is a class act.


Ponte Family Estate Winery

A Spectacular Vineyard Inn for a Nearby Destination Wedding

Dreaming of countryside nuptials at a vineyard near San Diego? The fabulous Ponte Winery loves to host weddings, and come spring 2012, you and your guests will be able to stay on the property. The Ponte Vineyard Inn, a charming two-story boutique hotel, will have 60 rooms, six mini-suites, and two presidential suites for your guests and loved ones. The pristine white rose garden and sparkling fountain create an absolutely breathtaking setting for an exchange of “I Dos.” Choose from four divine spaces to host your reception, including the Mission-style Barrel Room with winsome wine barrels lining the room. Your guests will enjoy the chance to get away on a mini vacation surrounded by stunning mountains, endless vineyard views, and dozens of other wineries in the beautiful Temecula Valley area. The hotel opens April 1, 2012, and reservations will be accepted starting December 2011.


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