Whether you are planning a traditional wedding or not, there are so many decisions to make about the beverages you will pour as you celebrate this special occasion. Seeing as I pretty much eloped and lucked out with getting a last minute lunch reservation at a great agriturismo in Northern Italy, I didn’t even have to think about wines. I got what was on the menu; a simple local house white and house red that I no longer even remember. The point is: as long as the wine is drinkable, not too heavy and works relatively well with your food; the guests will be happy.
Wine & Craft Beer By the Season
Wine is a traditional accompaniment to the celebration and fun of a wedding but craft beer is starting to take its rightful place at the table as well.
If the “big day” is happening in Spring or Summer where the food is likely to be seasonal and lighter, it makes sense to offer more crisp, light bodied white wines and lighter, easy drinking red wines. A summer wedding is the perfect opportunity to include a dry rosé, as more and more people are drinking this style of wine. Rosés are great crossover wines that work with a variety of foods. Light, refreshing styles of beer are also your best bet: try IPA, fruit-infused ale or pilsner to keep things casual and fun.
For those getting married during the cooler fall and cold winter months, you may want to move towards richer white wines and fuller-bodied reds to reflect the heavier, seasonal foods. You’ll notice that more people tend to drink reds this time of year. Similarly, rich beer styles like stouts and winter warmers will accompany the bolder tastes of the day.
How to choose
Remember, you can’t please everyone all of the time; so pick wine or beer you think most people will enjoy and that will work with the menu, to some degree. If there is a theme to your wedding, a brewery you enjoy or a wine region that you and your partner have travelled to or love; let those help guide your choices. People will appreciate the deeper meaning behind your decision.
Wedding fare is varied; you could be picking wines for a buffets, hors d’oeuvres, a sit down meal or even an evening of sweets. Just find the best wine and beer you can within your budget. Some safe wine choices are: simple, clean and unoaked white wines and medium bodied reds that are not too high in alcohol and tannin so they are easy to drink on their own. With a sit down meal, I would keep things simple by offering one white and one red wine- served or simply on the table. If you have a bar, you can get away with two very different styles of white wines, two styles of red and even a rose. Same goes for craft beer!
Celebrate with Sparkling Wine
Finally, no celebration is complete without sparkling wine! Given the cost of Champagne, it is unlikely that you’ll be buying bottles of this for the toast (save for the head table!), but there are many good quality sparkling wines available that are made in the same method like Cava or made via other methods that don’t come with the price tag. In the end, it is all about the toast.
How much will you need?
Once you’ve decided on what wine to serve, you’ll have to do a little bit of math in order to determine quantities. Stop into our shop for some expert help. Alternatively, Wine Folly (one of my favourite educational wine websites) can guide you here.