Sunday, 21 October 2007


I'm blatantly cherry-picking here. Not what I write about, necessarily, but what I concentrate on planning for. And the things I'm planning for are the things I like and/or know stuff about, regardless of their place in the hierarchy of priorities.
Heaven knows I have nearly a year to sort this stuff out – so why am I think about the fizz first?
Well, it's probably to do with the fact that I like wine, and I've recently been discovering British wines. Also, I've just read Barbara Kingsolver's magnificent Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the account of her family's efforts to spend a year eating only food produced within their county. No mean feat in a temperate zone when the family includes a pre-teen and a teenage girl, neither of them creatures known for their openness to new food experiences. So with the allotment and all that, I'm quite into my local food at the moment.
So my first thoughts on the fizz front were English wines. The climate of the south of England is beautifully suited to producing nice dry white sparkling wines, and there are quite a few from vineyards and producers such as Three Choirs (, Ridgeview ( and organic pioneers Sedlescombe ( English fizz has topped some international sparkling wine tasting competitions, putting some noses out of joint in more established regions of France and Spain. And in terms of affordability there's a range of prices from around eight quid a bottle to twenty, or thereabouts. I've had some of the very lovely prizewinning Ridgeview Bloomsbury, but that was because it was in my Wine Society English taster case and it's a bit out of my price range really.
So on a press trip to the very, very wonderful Cream O'Galloway organic farm and ice cream producers in (No! Wait for it!) Galloway, I was very happy to be introduced to Cairn O'Mohr fruit wines, made by the sister and brother-in-law of Cream O'Galloway co-founder David Finlay. Now I associate fruit wines with being a bit thick and gloopy and sweet – maybe nice for the occasional warming drink but not much else. But Cairn O'Mhor's elder and oakleaf fizz is a very drinkable dryish sparkling wine, made with ingredients from the Perthshire countryside and ordered via Which I will be doing, several cases of, in some months' time.
Be warned, though – don't read Ron's blog on the Cairn O'Mhor website while eating biscuits. The rants about his neighbours and many of the other people he comes across in life may induce chokings and coughings that might impact on the likelihood of your being around to get married at all...


Sarah Irving said...

More wedding experiences - feedback from my friend Jenny:

"Hey Sarah, remember me... last saw you at the Friends Meeting House when a Guatemalan lady was speaking last year sometime? Man, I was just reading your blog... I just got married in the summer and you sound exactly like me... I was so unfussed about weddings and was so pissed off that the whole world wanted me to spend so much money and still being a student and not having any was a bit of an issue... I agonised over the ring thing. I really had issues...given we had no pennies.
.. I wanted to have a picnic after getting married in my ordinary clothes with NO FUSS. it didn't really happen, largely cause even a picnic woulda have to been bankrolled by my parents and my dad was extremely particular about the food and stuff. He wanted stuff done a certain. At the end of the day I decided that I was getting married and that was the important thing. The day was brilliant in the end. Didn't notice all the fancy stuff my dad had splashed out on one bit... but I noticed all my mates who had made big efforts to get up to scotland, hitching, long distance buses and all cause they refused to drive and they all camped in fields cause they had no money for accomodation. Loved it!
It was quite hilarious to find myself getting married. First of all, I always believed as a teenager that marriage was the LAST THING I wanted to do with my life. but actually, it's pretty brill. I also thought I'd NEVER change my name... I was soooo against it. even last year everyone tried to persuade me that I should change it and I was set in my feminist ways. but then I had this weird change of heart and decided I actually wanted to have the same name as Nick. It's just weird what you end up doing.
Anyway, I'll shut up cause it's the most annoying thing about being engaged... people start telling you all about their wedding.
Stick to your guns mate... People are sooo annoying when you're getting married. Do stuff your way. you'll have an awesome day... but most of all have an awesome life together ; ) Congrats to you and Mark.
Love Jenny

Panda said...

we did the green wedding bit on 06. I had to admit that the wine wasn't UK.

We ordered in bulk from Unicorn Grocery for wine and beer and as the wedding was being held in Cornwall went direct to some Orchards there for apple and elderflower juices for the non alcoholic.

Sourced the food mostly from Cornwall and did all the catering ourselves. Had the service on the beach and the reception in a marquee in the garden.

Spent under £4000 for 200 guests including food and booze. And other than my gran and grandad sorted out car sharing and trains for people coming from Manchester to Cornwall.

Wonderful day.... ah must get the album out and reminisce... Goodluck!

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