Selecting Wines for Your Wedding
How many wines, and what varietals, should you offer at your wedding?
You’re getting married, and you choose a winery venue in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country…could it get any better than that? We assure you, it could – not only do you have an amazing venue with scenic views, you also get to share all of this winery’s amazing wines with the guests at your event. Although you may love every wine your venue creates, you might wonder if there is a limit to the number of varietals you should offer at your wedding. The answer is a definite, yes. This decision is entirely up to you based upon your wine preference, but we have put together a little guideline to help you through the process of choosing your wines.
Light White Wines
From Sauvignon Blanc to Chenin Blanc to Viognier, the options are endless for light bodied white wines. However, we recommend choosing a single white wine varietal for cocktail hour, and have found that a nice chilled, crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, are ideal for a warm evening (or even a cool one). You can choose to carry this wine into dinner service as well, however, we also suggest adding a medium bodied white wine in the evening.
Medium White Wines
Chardonnay is the most popular white wine in California. One of the reasons this is true is because it is a food friendly wine. Whether you are getting notes of vanilla or butter, or fruit like apples and pears, this wine will always pair nicely with a chicken, light fish or pasta with a creamy sauce. Adding a Chardonnay into dinner service is a wonderful choice for you and your guests on your big day.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself at a winery making a rose, we say add it to the cocktail hour menu! Aside from the popularity of rose this year, the chilled blush wine pairs nicely with a daytime or evening event. Even those guests who don’t care for rose may find themselves reaching for a glass. Trust us, you can’t go wrong with a rose being offered at cocktail hour.
Light/Medium Red Wines
Red wines are often the most difficult to choose because there are so many varietals and, with that, a huge array of options. We recommend adding a nice light red into the cocktail hour mix. Maybe a Pinot Noir that will pair nicely with the appetizers, or a medium bodied Merlot that will pair with passed meat dishes. Having a red wine available during cocktail hour allows an additional room temperature option for your guests, while not overwhelming them.
Heavy Red Wines
Now for the big guys – Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah – these are the wines known for their big bold structure and are also the wines you want to pair with a big tasty entrée! With that said, introducing a bigger and bolder wine is a perfect choice for dinner during your event.
The bubbly – the wine known for toasts, celebrations and special occasions! This wine is often introduced directly following the ceremony or during cocktail hour. However, another option is to save the bubbly for special toasts later in the evening. Saving this wine (although you don’t have to) allows for a little something special as friends and family share their love and kind words for the newly married couple.
So, we recommend doing a white, sparkling (and we always add a rose if it is available), and a light red during cocktail hour, and adding a heavier white and red wine during dinner. With that said, 5-6 varietals being offered during your event should be more than enough. We know that wine selections are only a small part of your day, just know that whatever selections you make will be the right ones!
About the author: Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s most experienced Wine Country Wedding Experts & largest event management company providing site selection services to multiple locations throughout Sonoma County. Over the past six years, Milestone has helped hundreds of couples simplify the venue selection process by providing clarity, predictability, and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranches, and other locations for their private events.
After the venue selection process is complete, Milestone is also available to help produce events in a stress-reduced and highly professional manner. www.MilestoneEventsGroup.com