As you begin planning your wedding, you will find that there are a whole host of decisions to be made. From the cut of the wedding dress to the floral arrangements; from the groom’s tuxedo to the reception venue, there are so many choices to make that it can all seem a little bit daunting at times.
One of the bigger decisions that couples have to face, is the choice of refreshments for their guests. That typically means choosing a selection of wines to be served at the reception.
But not everyone is comfortable when it comes to wine, and few of us are experts at either pairing wines with food or choosing the right type of wine to serve at any given celebration. So, in an effort to alleviate some of the stress that comes with planning a wedding, we’ve put together a few tips to help couples choose the right wines to serve on their big day.
These tips are easy to follow, and will help you find the right wine to serve at your wedding reception.
Let Your Own Tastes be Your Guide
When choosing wines, there is no better guide than your own tastes and preferences. That being said, you should always consider the enjoyment of your guests.
While you may prefer the bold and complex flavors of a top shelf Cabernet, that may not appeal to the vast majority of your guests. In which case, a lighter and less complex Pinot Noir might be the better choice.
As a general rule, choose those wines that have a more sedate flavor profile. These are more likely to appeal to a wider group of guests, and will be easier to pair with your wedding menu.
Variety is the Spice Life
When it comes to choosing the right wines for your wedding, one size definitely does not fit all. While you might personally enjoy an oaky Chardonnay, many of your guests might prefer a more fruity Merlot.
When choosing wines for your wedding, lay in a supply of both white and red so that your guests can choose for themselves according to their own tastes.
Again, while you may prefer a wine with a bolder character, it is always wise to select wines with a lighter profile. These will pair better with both the hors d’oeurvres and the main courses, and are more likely to be enjoyed by the majority of your guests.
Another helpful tip to remember – if your wedding is planned for the summer, consider laying in a greater stock of white wine. During the summer months, most people prefer a crisp and cool white wine to a heavier red.
Hold a Tasting Evening
Before you place your final wine order for the wedding, select a few of your favorites and hold a tasting evening for you and your closest friends. This is not only a great opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family, it is a welcome respite from the wedding planning process.
Spend the evening sharing stories and tasting the different red and white wines that you are considering for the wedding. Make tasting notes to help you settle on a final choice. Don’t press your own preferences, but let your friends and family guide your final choices.
Cost and Quantities
Once you have chosen the different wines you want to serve at your wedding, it is time to decide how much to buy and how much you are going to spend. As a general rule, you should estimate one glass of wine per guest per hour. A typical bottle of wine contains about 25 fluid ounces. Allowing for an average pour of 4 ounces, you should be able to get 5 to 6 glasses of wine from a single bottle.
Using these numbers as a guide, you can work out the number of bottles you will need to serve your guests throughout the wedding day festivities. However, it is always wise to order a little extra to ensure that you don’t run out before the day is over.
There is nothing worse on your wedding day than having to send someone out to buy more wine on the fly. Give yourself a little buffer, and send any extra bottles home with your wedding party.
Choosing the wines for your wedding doesn’t need to be difficult. Even if you are a novice when it comes to wine, the process can be fun and rewarding.
Take your time, and sample a few different varieties. Remember to buy by the case, as this will help you to save some money on the final costs of your wine purchase.
Now, on to choosing the perfect Champagne for the wedding toasts….