As London prepares to celebrate the wedding of the year this weekend, we seek advice from our local London Bridge wine experts at WSET School London on how to give the happy couple a royally good toast…
THE ROYAL WEDDING WINE GUIDE by Lauren Denyer, WSET Certified Educator
1. An English Fizz
What British royal wedding would it be if it didn’t feature English Fizz! Made in the same way and with the same grapes as Champagne this fizz is the ultimate wine to celebrate an English Wedding. And with a nod to the Father of the groom why not look at some that are coming from Cornwall. These wines are delicate and refreshing yet complex with lovely fresh citrus and orchard fruit character but with an underlying depth of flavours of sweet pastry, biscuits and toast.
2. A Greek White
An influential figure in Harry’s life has been his Grandfather, Prince Philip. Philip has connections with two fabulous wine producing countries; Greece and Germany. If we follow his paternal lineage Philip’s own grandfather was George of Greece. A wonderful Greek white wine really making its mark in the world is Assyrtiko, a grape variety native to the island of Santorini. The dark volcanic soil there suits this grape extremely well and results in refreshing wines with a mineral and saline quality. This is a great spring wine and perfect accompaniment to zesty salads and white meat dishes.
3. A Tuscan Red
Meghan Markle’s favourite wine is Tignanello, an Italian Tuscan wine. These wines have a lovely blend of red and black fruit characters with hints of spice, cedar, vanilla and a touch of leafiness. With high levels of acidity and a robust tannic structure these wines will compliment any red meat chucked on the BBQ, weather permitting! Look for wines with the Bolgheri DOC or Tuscany IGT labels which are full-bodied wines made with many grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and can also include the local grape variety Sangiovese.
4. A Californian Zinfandel
California, where our future princess hails from is a huge producer of wine with styles ranging from cheap and cheerful to some of the most complex and expensive wines in the world. For those of us with a bit of a sweet tooth, you need look no further than Central Valley in California where much off-dry to medium sweet inexpensive wine is produced. Grab some medium white Zinfandel, a rose wine with bright pink colour and sweet flavours of strawberry, raspberry and red cherry.
5. A Spanish Sherry
One could imagine that the guest of honour at this wedding (The Queen) would like to toast this wedding with a traditional glass of Sherry from Spain. The Brits have a strong history with Sherry including Sir Francis Drake stealing a lot of it in the 16th century ensuring its popularity in Britain. One of the very old Bodegas in Jerez, Lustau, produces an older Sherry named after the British Trading Company, The East India Company who transported silk, spices and tea in the 17th Century. With an average age of 15 years in American oak this or a sweet Oloroso or Premium Cream Sherry would be a fantastic something old to sip, with very complex notes of dried fruit, toffee, coffee, caramel, chocolate, walnuts and raisins. For something new use it as one of the ingredients in a cocktail or on ice with a slice of orange.
Lauren Denyer is a Wine Educator certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the world’s largest provider of wines, spirits and sake education. If you’d like to learn more about wines and spirits, WSET School London on Bermondsey Street offers beginner to expert courses for enthusiasts and professionals. Visit wsetschool.com to learn more.