How Beer Can Help You Find a Perfect Marriage

Back to Wills and Kate. Yes, of course it’s a wedding; you have to have Champagne, don’t you? Most people expect and want Champagne at a reception, even I would. It’s part of the Great Champagne Conspiracy – the Champagne houses have done a number on us for years, coercing us into believing there is only one thing to drink when it comes to celebration, be it a wedding or a Formula 1 victory. How did they do that?

So, what did the lucky guests get to not drink any beer with? To save you the bother – and possible Browsing History embarrassment of visiting the Happy Couple’s website, here’s the list:

Guests will be served a selection of canapés, including:

  1. Cornish Crab Salad on Lemon Blini
  2. Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney
  3. Roulade of Goats Cheese with Caramelised Walnuts 
  4. Assortment of Palmiers and Cheese Straws
  5. Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini
  6. Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tart
  7. Poached Asparagus spears with Hollandaise Sauce for Dipping
  8. Quails Eggs with Celery Salt
  9. Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise Pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling
  10. Wild Mushroom and Celeriac Chausson
  11. Bubble and Squeak with Confit Shoulder of Lamb
  12. Grain Mustard and honey-glazed Chipolatas
  13. Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole
  14. Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horseradish Mousse
  15. Gateau Opera
  16. Blood Orange Pate de Fruit
  17. Raspberry Financier
  18. Rhubarb Crème Brulee Tartlet
  19. Passion Fruit Praline
  20. White Chocolate Ganache Truffle
  21. Milk Chocolate Praline with Nuts
  22. Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle

To be fair, if you are going to have one wine and a range of canapés, a non-vintage Pol Roger is probably a decent bet. And maybe the Champagne would be a good palate cleanser in betweent nibbles. Even then, asking a brut to go straight down the list is stretching an already tall order. You might even say, not a sophisticated experience.

Champagne with quite a few of these dishes is not a marriage made in heaven. And by the time you get to number 15: Gateau Opera, which for all I know might be made by Heston Blumenthal’s magic kitchen entirely from NV Pol Roger shavings, you’re going to want something from the list of unspecified “other alcoholic drinks”. And probably a tube of Sensodyne Pronamel.

On a thought-experiment level, could one beer do any better? Maybe even one special, limited-edition beer? I don’t know, but I’d say if you were allowed free choice of beer styles, I’m certain beer would go better than Champagne with numbers: 1-7, 10-14, and would totally outclass most of the dessert choices from 16 onwards. Dish 17 looks interesting, though: “Raspberry Financier”. Has someone finally found something useful to do with all those redundant bankers?

Even if we can’t forgive the snobbish slight on beer drinkers from the Court’s “insider”, maybe we can understand their choice. Catering for 650 guests is a massive logistical and culinary conundrum, and it would be made harder having to sort out a different drink with each few “courses”. It’d be fun to have a hypothetical beer list of pairings, so I will. Feel free to join in. I think we can come up with a rather sophisticated experience, and maybe even a perfect marriage.