1/28 {Real Bride: Mellzah} In Which I DIY My Own Wedding Wine (YES!)

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As you can see, I am beyond pumped about the winemaking process.

In terms of our wedding, we’re committed to doing as much DIY as possible. Not only because in general it will help us save some cash for splurges elsewhere, but because it’s nice to add personal flair where we can–after all, nearly everything in our home has been altered in some way to reflect our tastes and aesthetic, so why shouldn’t our wedding be the same way?

In the spirit of DIY, Jason and I decided to make and bottle our own wedding wine.  Granted, we don’t have the equipment or expertise to handle it on our own, so we took a trip to Classic Winemakers in Olympia, Washington, for a crash course in winemaking.

After tasting a range of red wines*, we decided on a yummy South African Shiraz, and then we were thrown headfirst into winemaking – mixing water, various fruits, yeast, woods…and some other things I don’t remember, but since we were carefully supervised, we couldn’t toss in anything wrong or funky or poisonous and screw things up. After some stirring and clapping of hands in excitement, the wine was sealed in its barrel and you’re done for the next six weeks while the wine ferments: Classic Winemakers takes care of any necessary filtering or other steps along the way.

Just one of the many ways we’re secretly working nerdy things into our wedding.

At the six week mark, we drove back down with our label design on a thumb drive, and while the shop owners printed and cut the labels, we washed our bottles, filled them with wine, corked, wiped, sealed, and then labeled them–state advisory labels on the back, and our custom labels on the front.

Now we have thirty one bottles of our wine aging in our guest bedroom for the big day, and we’re both looking forward to our next DIY wedding adventure, whatever that may end up being.  It might not have been the cheapest way to procure wine (though very reasonable overall, at $300 for our entire batch), but it is one more way to put our stamp on the look and feel of the day’s festivities, and if we end up having any leftover bottles, we can save them and open them on our anniversary…or, if we run out, we can always go back and make more of the same blend!

*We decided to make red instead of white as neither of us particularly cares for white, and the majority of our friends are red drinkers; it would have been a larger blow to the budget to make both a red and a white. Instead, we decided we’d rather offer a couple of nice beers in place of white wine.

Melissa Leff makes fun happen! When she's not wrangling pixels, grammar, or people, she's making stuff and blogging about her misadventures. Catch up with her at her blog, Mellzah.com, and on Twitter!