Bottle Guzzling

written by Winnie Wangui 23rd March 2015

The new Wine Chic(k) in town Annabel Onyango, will never let rivers of Prosecco get in the way of looking good.

It appears that this is the year ALL my friends will be getting hitched. Barely four months in and I have attended no fewer than five nuptials, with more to come. Now let the record state that I love weddings: I love the slow lead up (the save-the-dates, elaborately conceived invitations, frantic email reminders, the deciding of what to wear, “Will the grass ruin my heels?”, the general flurry when the big day finally arrives…)

So of course when the big day of my buddies Richard and Chris-tie (Kenyans of Italian decent) was finally here, I was peachy keen. Out-of-town in the beach setting of Malindi, it was the perfect excuse for a little stay-cation. It would also be the perfect excuse to indulge my usual obsessive-compulsive packing style: I lay everything I intend to take with me on the floor, outfit by outfit, making sure everything is coordinated. I try it all on, to be sure the swimsuits still fit well and look cute, that I have matching cover-ups, appropriate accessories and enough changes to cover fancy dinners or unexpected nights on the town. Last is to confirm what my perfect travel ensemble will be and whether it will go nicely with my cowskin luggage. I leave no stone unturned!

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We arrived at the hotel a few hours before wedding time and were met by an already gregarious crowd bearing down on us with glasses of Prosecco. A promising start.

The ceremony was beautiful, of course. The bride in her vintage finery, the groom handsome with a hipster mop of hair, their friends and family a motley crew of all castes and creeds. Upon arrival at the venue delicious bubbly cock- tails were handed out. By the time the vows had been declared and everyone was warming up for the reception, additional cocktails were adding to the already charged frisson bubbling through the air. As we sat down to dinner, each table loaded with more bottles of wine, the room was buzzing.

Now even the most infrequent of wedding-goers knows that the best weddings are drunken weddings. It is after all, the climax of months of fraught preparation and all involved are relieved that the deed is finally done. There’s that point at every wedding when there’s a mild euphoria in the air – when the planners no longer care to plan and the guests abandon themselves to the festivities; that point when all decorum goes out the window. That point at this Malindi wedding arrived sooner than I’ve seen before—when the polite sipping of Prosecco turned into excited bottle-guzzling. Well-mannered two-stepping on the dance floor morphed into an all-out rave. The weaker of the guests ducked out by 3am, while the core continued until way after sunrise.

The Prosecco hangover is a sweet one. You can drink copious amounts of all that sparkle and still come up standing. One is still able to get up at a reasonable hour, dress up in their Day 2 outfit, and be back at the lounge ready for more.

“Barman, another Bellini!”


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