Choosing the wines for your reception can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re not a wine connoisseur. There are over 10,000 varieties of wine grapes that can be made into countless varieties of wine. That’s a lot to choose from! How do you go about picking yours? What works with your dinner? How much do you need? Take a deep breath. Let’s keep it simple!
Pregame: Taste a variety. Try a new kind every time you’re out for dinner or at the bar. Pick up a new bottle at your local wine or grocery store. Write down the ones you like and forget the ones you don’t. Or throw the empty bottles from your favorites on top of the fridge. Having the bottle makes shopping for them at the store a lot easier later on!
Double Trouble: Pick one red wine AND one white wine. People have their preferences! Keep in mind: oaky, buttery chardonnay and fruity full-bodied merlot wines can overwhelm the palette. Sauvignon Blanc (aka Fume Blanc) and Pinot Noir wines (white and red, respectively) are two wines that typically go well with most foods because they are light and less fruity. Looking underneath these categories will make your sampling much less daunting.
Matchy matchy: Choose your wines when you’re sampling your wedding dinner. Drink a few wines with the meal to get a better sense of which wine compliments the food best. Caterers will be able to offer advice, but don’t trust their judgment blindly. ALWAYS sample the wine.
Here is a basic guideline for pairing your food and wine:
Print this out. Keep it in your pocket. Tape it to your mirror so you see it every morning.
What about the money honey?
Is there such thing as “too much wine?” Different wedding professionals will say to allow 1/2, 2/3, or even a full bottle of wine per guest as an estimate. I say it depends on your guests. If your friends and family like to drink, then estimate higher, If they don’t, then aim low. BUT always add extra to your estimate because NO ONE wants to run out of wine. NO. ONE. And having extra bottles to take home is just a fabulous wedding gift for yourselves!
This covers wine at its most basic level. Now you can shop like a pro! Sample responsibly!
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