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Toasting a pub wedding

Your summer wine list from The Recreation in Fitzroy North, Melbourne

Words: Damien Woolnough

12th December 2018

Once upon a time there was nothing worse in Australia than the thought of a pub with no beer but fortunately The Recreation has plenty of wine on standby.

The Queens Parade in Melbourne's Fitzroy North venue has become a favourite for intimate weddings because of its local charm and the impressive wine curated by sommelier and consultant Mark Protheroe.

Here Mark takes us through the first and last of the summer wedding wines.

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What is the best drink to kick off proceedings for a wedding? 

Champagne is certainly the tried and tested option however cocktails like Aperol spritz and Americanos are a fantastic option with the added bonus of adding some colour to the occasion. There is also an army of new gin brands that are made locally that you can have some fun with in regards to different garnishes like fresh thyme or blood orange.

Summer is here. What wine mix should you consider?

Crisp dry whites, especially Riesling and Italian regions like Veneto, Alto Adige and Friuli. A Chardonnay is always handy from cooler zones like the Mornington Peninsula and Adelaide Hills. In terms of reds, something lighter like a Pinot Noir or Gamay that could be served chilled is a great option when the mercury soars above 30 degrees. Look for lower alcohol Shiraz (A.K.A Syrah) based wines that sit below 13.5 degrees. Zones like Canberra, Yarra Valley and Beechworth could be the place to go. Of course, dry rose. Lots of dry rose!

Is there a way that people can personalise the wine list?

Find some products they relate to and add a little personal story on the wine list. We recently provided wines for a wedding where the reception started like a cellar door pop-up where all the wines on offer were from places the couple had visited in their relationship. There are also a range of excellent bar tenders like Fred Siggins you could engage to design a bespoke cocktail to be served before or after the speeches.

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What is the mistake most people make in putting together a wedding wine list?

Catering too closely to their own preferences and having multiple wines that are similar with other styles missed. If you want to keep it simple and offer four wines, pick two of each colour, one lighter bodied and the other heavy.

What's your favourite drop this summer?

Gamay, local or imported. It’s a versatile option for a number of cuisines and temperatures. A great local one is Terrason, if you prefer French the Beaujolais villages from Domaine des Marrans or offers great everyday drinking. For a splash out, Chateau Thivin’s Cote de Brouilly is worth seeking out.

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