How to Choose The Wine For Your Wedding
The right wine brings an extra touch of sophistication to your sit-down or buffet-style wedding dinner. A good wine pairing will make your event even more special.
Choosing Yorkshire Wines
If you’re planning a wedding here in Yorkshire you might want to choose local wines. Yorkshire’s wine industry has been growing in recent years, but due to the cold climate, wines produced here are on the lighter side. They may or may not be a good fit for the dishes you plan to serve.
If serving a Yorkshire-made wine is important to you, I’d recommend visiting a few local wineries for tastings – I mean that’s a great day out anyway isn’t it!? Then choose the wine you want to serve and maybe with some input from the winemaker, then choose dinner entrees that make ideal pairings with that wine.
If your food choice is much more important to you than the wine choice, you probably shouldn’t limit yourself to local wines. Choose your food first, then find a wine that pairs well with it.
Match the Place of Your Wine and Your Food
Wine options can be overwhelming. Geographic pairing is an excellent way to narrow down your choice.
Geographic pairing is as simple as matching the cuisine style of your food with the wine you serve. So if you are serving pasta with an Italian-style tomato sauce, you’d look for wines from Italy. If you were serving seafood, you’d look for wines from a coastal region like California. And if beef is on the menu, consider wines from livestock-raising regions like Argentina.
Your venue or caterer may also be able to help you here.
Know Your Audience
Once you’ve narrowed your search to a specific wine region, you can start thinking about specific varietals and flavors. Here’s where your audience comes into play.
Think about the guest list for your wedding. Are there many passionate wine connoisseurs getting invites? Or would you characterize your guests as occasional wine drinkers?
For a crowd of wine lovers, you might think about serving an exceptionally bold or unique pairing. As people who consider the wine as important as the meal, they’ll appreciate and enjoy the extra care and unique experience of a wine they’re not used to. You could consider bolder wines like malbec, tempranillo, or gamay.
But for more casual wine drinkers, you probably don’t want to go so bold. These folks are more likely to enjoy the more popular varietals — which have remained popular because they appeal to most taste buds. Cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, and chardonnay are perennial favourites at weddings for this reason.
How Much Wine Should You Buy For Your Wedding?
The amount of wine you should buy will depend on how many guests are coming, the duration of your reception, and what other alcoholic beverages you plan to serve.
The typical rule for any event is: Two drinks per drinking guest in the first hour, and one drink per guest for every hour after. So if you expect 100 drinkers at your reception, and the reception is four hours long, you’ll be providing 200 drinks in the first hour, and 100 for each of hours two, three, and four — a total of 500.
Now, any Yorkshire wedding guest list will have its fair share of beer drinkers. What percentage of those 500 drinks do you expect should be beer? There are other special cases as well, like whether you’re serving a specialty cocktail, or wine with dinner — read this guide to figuring out some of these advanced scenarios.
Eventually you’ll come to a percentage of those 500 drinks that need to be wine. From there it’s just figuring out how many bottles to buy. A bottle has approximately 5/6 glasses, while a case of wine (12 bottles) provides 60 glasses of wine. I also have more info here on working out how many drinks you need to buy. (Obviously if your venue has a bar and will be supplying the drinks, then you won’t need to worry about this)
A Few Final Considerations
I wanted to mention a few more things to consider as you’re planning. White wine and sparkling wine are generally served cold, so if you go with one of those you’ll have to have some way to keep them that way. Reds are perfectly ok served at room temperature, which makes life a little easier, especially at a dry hire venue where you may not have easy access to refrigeration. It’s not very common to only serve red wine though – you’d only really do this if you knew all your guests preferred red.
The right wine can be a memorable part of your wedding event. Go with your instincts and choose something that’s meaningful to you — because everyone you love wants this day to be your happiest ever.
As ever if you need some help with your planning, then let me know. Particularly if you’re having the sort of wedding where you’re choosing and supplying your own wine, then you’re likely to benefit from some help on the day. You can read more about that here.