Since this is the Wedding Special Edition for the Nichi Bei Times, I seriously thought of what
the Gochiso Gourmet could contribute to this commemorative issue. It was over 13 years ago
that yours truly got hitched and especially from the perspective of a guy - who is simply looking
for another reason to throw a party – what could possibly be of use for those ready to “tie the
knot”. Then again, I do have many words of wisdom (or just random ramblings) about the
subject. So here goes
Champagne is ALWAYS good.
Okay, Champagne might be my interpretation of a festive wedding but did you know that
Champagne originally was reserved for French aristocracy after that Benedictine monk, Dom
Perignon first uttered that immortal phrase: “Come quickly, I have been
drinking stars”. Good enough for French royalty, good enough for the Bride
I know that Dom Perignon always conjures images that you’ve procured the
very best bubbly. I won’t disagree that Dom Perignon is excellent Champagne,
especially in great vintages. However, it’s not the only option for the
matrimonial couple. There are many more Methode Champenois libations that
are felicitous for the festive occasion.
If you feel affiliated with the Bride, perhaps a bottle of Veuve Cliquot On the Go Collection.
Along with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label (the same non-vintage Champagne Ina
Garten of the Barefoot Contessa fame always has in her refrigerator) this special package comes
in a handy orange colored neoprene “purse” that keeps the bottle chilled for at least 2 hours
(also available as a bottle carrier that holds two Champagne flute glasses). While it won’t make
the Champagne taste any better (Veuve Cliquot is already a very good “middle of the road”
Champagne), the new Mrs. may look a little more stylish carrying her next bottle of bubbly to
future bridal showers.
If Champagne carrying bags don’t strike your fancy, how about an attractive
Champagne gift bottle? Perrier Jouet bottles a Belle Epoque Champagne with a
decorative painted label of flowers that’s available in single bottle or as a gift set
with two matching hand painted Champagne flute glasses. And the Champagne
in the bottle isn’t bad either, nice floral nose with a medium body and nice finish.
Finally, for the avant garde couple Piper Heidsieck bottles a special Jean-Paul
Gautier designed red lace up bottle. Maybe a little provocative for the traditional
wedding couple but definitely a honeymoon starter for the adventurous. Though
the price may be a little more than your traditional Piper Heidsieck Champagne,
the Piper house does produce one of the top non-vintage Champagnes year in and
out… though the nuptial couple may simply be focused on the lace up or lace down
accoutrement as it were.
Forget the Fondue Pot
If the lovely couple loves to spend quality “kitchen time” or at least one of the pair loves the
culinary creations of the other half, how a great kitchen gadget. Forget the fondue pot. I know
the fondue pot is making a renaissance reappearance in modern
homes but I’m thinking of something a little more upscale. The
slow cooker. Whadya mean upscale? Crock pots are as old school
as they get. Never mind crock pot, look no further than the
All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker which has a 7 quart capacity,
non-stick aluminum insert that can be used directly on the
range top or oven and has one of the longest cooking settings.
The 7 quart capacity is perfect for the expanding family or great
if the new couple simply want to cook on Sunday to last
through the rest of the work week. Also makes a great gift for Nichi Bei Times food writers .
If slow cooking isn’t your favorite bride’s or groom’s cup of tea, how about a multitasking
indoor grill cooker. Sure you can get the latest infomercial George Forman model but that
probably won’t get you invited to subsequent weddings and showers.
The multi tasking DeLonghi, Breville and Cuisinart models run you
about the same dinero as the top of the line Forman model and can
also make superb panini, indoor grilled chicken breast and pancakes.
Perfect for the young couple with no outdoor grilling space and a
device that makes perfect breakfast pancakes, pressed panini
sandwiches for lunch and grilled chicken, steak or fish for dinner.
And for the sake of humanity, please don’t consider monogrammed
stemware. They just cost a lot more, are a lot cheesier and simply
occlude the appearance of whatever beverage you’re consuming. I personally trust anyone
invited to the sanctum of my home enough that I don’t feel the compulsion to label my
stemware to retrieve at a later date in case they inadvertently transport said beverage vehicle
home with them.
Mom personally “monogramming” your underwear label is another column in itself. However,
just say no to monogrammed stemware.
What if they’re Kitchen Uninclined?
Have no fear, readily prepared food is here. HomeBistro.com offers prepared frozen complete
meals whether you’re a new spouse challenged with boiling water all the way up to full Vice
Presidents of major institutions. The meals are packaged in individual portions and usually
include protein, starch and vegetable sides. They also cater to those with carbohydrate, sodium
or fat restrictions and diabetes friendly meals are also available.
Though a gift of frozen prepared meals may seem a bit cold (pun intended), after the new
couple have returned all of their wedding gifts and realized that they still can’t purchase that
new Lexus LS 460 AND they’re still hungry, easily micro waved foods are a blessing. And a lot
tastier and important than a Lexus.
And Just in Case
In the rare case that you’re asked to give one of the two banzai toasts at your next wedding
reception, have no fear, I’m here.
The banzai toast basically means 10,000 years or wishes a long life to both the Bride and
Groom and vice versa. The first banzai toast is to the newly married couple and for brevity’s
sake, is simply “Shinro Shimpo, Banzai… Banzai… Banzai…”. The succeeding toast from the
Bride and Groom to the guests is simply “Raihin Shoku (or Raihin no Minasama), Banzai…
Banzai… Banzai…”. The actual preceding soliloquy actually is pages longer but for brevity’s sake
(and mainly because no one could recite – in Japanese – the full text), the Banzai toast is
simply stated as is.
Final Words of Wisdom
For all you couples out there ready to take the plunge, my advice is… I have none! Some old
sage once said “A woman marries a man expecting him to change whereas a man marries a
woman expecting her to remain the same” and you know that “he doesn’t, she doesn’t”. Kinda
explains that Mars and Venus philosophy. Bruce Lee once said “put water in a cup, it becomes
the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle”, put two people into a marriage, they
become the marriage. No rules, no manuals, no laws. Be water, my friends.
A Toast to the Bride and Groom