But we figured a little wine couldn't hurt.
So we created a tasting of potential wines for the wedding, picking a few that we liked and offering them up for review.
We tasted a range of wines: among others, a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand I've liked for years, an inexpensive valpolicella we'd greatly enjoyed earlier in the week, a shiraz we drank together on one of our first dates years ago in South Dakota. I set up a tasting sheet for everyone to note their ratings and comments, and we'll base some of our wine decisions off the results.
Particularly helpful comments included:
"Smells like wine. Tastes like ... wine? But not super winey. Kind of blah, but goodish."
"REALLY smells like wine."
"Smells like the swimming locker room... chlorine and sweat and feet."
To eat, we provided what I have to say was a pretty phenomenal cheese plate with D'Affinoise brie, a waxy manchego, a gouda, and an enormous wedge of Cypress Grove's incredible "Humboldt Fog" chevre. And lots of prosciutto from an Iowan family farm, the owners of which are Couch family friends.
After the tasting, Dad and Denise grilled up quite a spread for us to feast on: roasted potatoes and grilled summer veggies, french bread dripping with butter and crisp from the oven, and gorgeous enormous marinated steak kebabs.
Mom contributed a garden Greek salad: lettuce and tomatoes from the garden, tossed with feta, olives, and oil and vinegar. This is a pretty standard Summers contribution to any summer potluck...
The food was amazing, the wines were delicious, the comments on the wine tasting forms were delightful, and the company, of course, was the best imaginable.