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The hotel staff screwed up.

On our wedding night, at the hotel where we were married, John and I were supposed to receive a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and a gift certificate for a free stay on our one year anniversary.

We knew nothing of this until about six months after our wedding.  That’s when John’s brother and sister in law thanked us for sending them a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and a gift certificate for a free stay at the hotel.

Apparently the hotel staff didn’t check to see that there were more than one Mr. and Mrs. with the same last name staying in the hotel and delivered our goodies to the wrong room.  Not cool.

So I emailed the manager, informed him of the slip up, and made a reservation for our anniversary (which was this past November.)  I assumed he would make up for the error.  Not exactly.

We did get a free stay at the hotel.  But after a little inquiring at the front desk if they might send us some tasty strawberries, they delivered us an old cheese plate and a bottle of cheap Merlot.

So not the same.

We tossed the cheese, and brought the wine home.  But what does one do with a cheap bottle of Merlot?

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  When life gives you cheap Merlot, you make mulled wine.

Go find your cheapest, most embarrassing bottle of red wine and mull away.  If you happen to work at a hotel and routinely deliver wedding night gifts to brides and grooms, maybe double check that you have the correct room.

Families tend to share the same last name, after all.


One bottle cheap red wine
1 Tablespoon Mulling Spice (or make your own)
1/4 cup brown sugar
Squeeze of fresh orange juice
Cinnamon sticks for serving


Place wine and spices in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.  Add in sugar and orange juice to taste.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve.

Source: Adapted from Penzeys Spices

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