Planning for a Wedding with Wine
A wedding is the most important event that can happen between two people. Even in Biblical days, wine was an important part of every wedding. If you recall Jesus' first miracle, he was asked to bring in more wine, when the festivity's supplies were running low! There are wines for every set of taste buds. You can have sweet wines, sparkling wines, red wines for meals, and anything and everything in between!
Planning the Wine Purchase
The first question people tend to ask is, how much wine should I get! To begin, a serving of wine is 5 oz. You figure a person can probably drink one of these every half hour, so multiply the number of people times the length of your party in half hours and you've got a rough idea.
I find it's good to assume you have:
20% White Zinfandel drinkers
30% white wine (Chardonnay)
30% red wine (Cabernet)
20% of other things (water, punch, soda, etc)
The next question people wonder about are how to pair wines. I have many pairing pages, linked at the bottom of this page, but in general you go light-to-heavy just like when you plan a meal. Start with whites, move to heavier whites and reds, and end with sweet dessert wines.
You tend to start with white wines and cheese pairings, and perhaps something with a light red - say a bacon/scallop thing with a Beaujolais. If you move on to a real meal, you'd pair the wines with foods as appropriate.
A traditional part of every wedding is the Champagne toast. A 5 oz flute is a good sized toasting glass. Remember to use flutes - not wide-brimmed glasses - to get the most bubbles and flavor. You get about 5-6 glasses per bottle of Champagne. Now, what should you choose? As much as you might want to skimp, don't go for the cheap stuff - there is a huge difference in taste when it comes to sparkling wines between the low end and even middle end. You want that toast to be truly memorable, not one where everybody is making faces at the bride and groom. California is creating some fantastic sparkling wines right now which are great tasting but not as expensive as French Champagnes.
If you're looking for current wine recommendations, visit our Wine Forums for advice!
Wine and Food Pairings
Wine and Cheese Pairings
Wine & Health
Champagne History and Information
Why We Clink Glasses
Wine Basics Main Page