Tis the season for love, laughter, beautiful couples, breathtaking venues, delicious food and inevitably bad “banquet wine!” I am always amazed at how many brides obsess over every detail from the gown to the flowers to the photographer to the caterer, but when it comes to the wine selection, it’s usually a complete afterthought. Did you know that wedding wines can be affordable and delicious?! It’s true! I have been to so many weddings where I end up drinking club soda or a beer because the wine selection may as well be alcohol-infused cherry cough syrup. Couples – you deserve better and so do your guests!
Here are some of my favorite varietals for great wedding wines for late spring, summer and early fall.
White Wine – Believe it or not, you don’t have to serve a Chardonnay at your wedding. While it’s the most planted white grape in America, the quality level varies greatly! It is one of the world’s most manipulated grapes. Truth be told, it’s difficult to find an astounding thought-provoking delightful Chardonnay for under $25 bottle. The budget wines boasting bare feet and fuzzy animals are not varietally sound and don’t resemble anything near a true Chardonnay. Why not be creative and serve a crisp, refreshing Albarino or Soave? Most people will ask for white or red, it’s that simple. Just because your great aunt only drinks white Zinfandel or your neighbor only drinks Chardonnay, don’t cater to one guest! If the wine is delicious and it works with the food and the season, they’ll love it. Trust me!
- Off-dry Riesling – A touch of residual sugar and intense acidity make this an incredible versatile wine with an array of dishes from a raw bar to soups to salads to spicy dishes.
- Albarino – A briny, crisp and delightful white offering floral notes or gardenia, white peach and citrus makes for a great choice for spring and summer weddings.
- Soave – A fabulously fun alternative to Pinot Grigio. This wine made from the Garganega grape hails from the same region in Italy, but has a bit more personality than the run of the mill Pinot Grigio. Dare to be different, your guest will thank you for it. Think hors d’ouevres, salads, vegetarian and seafood courses
Red Wine – I like to opt for a lighter, fruit forward red for wedding wines when possible. They tend to be more versatile with a wide selection and they have less tannins, which stain your teeth. I am just thinking about your photos here! You’ll thank me later.
- Pinot Noir – Pairs equally well with beef tenderloin and mushrooms as it does with salmon. This thin-skinned grape offers bright acidity, moderate tannins and tends to boast bountiful aromas of red berries, currants, cranberries, with hints of earth, spice and mushroom, depending on where it’s grown. Looking for values? Try a Village Burgundy, Spatburgunder, or Chilean Pinot Noir.
- Pinot Meunier – It’s one of the three grapes allowed in Champagne production and it’s one of the most widely planted grapes in France. It’s a unique and great alternative to Pinot Noir.
- Beaujolais – This lovely wine produced from the Gamay grape is best served with a slight chill. It’s just as versatile as Pinot but a little more fruit forward and laid back.
Find out how I saved one of my recent clients more than $1,200 on her wedding toast bubbly at www.crystalpalate.com. Plus, I just posted 5 of my favorite budget friendly and delicious sparkling wine options for your wedding toast! If you are interested in learning more about my bridal consulting services and bridal event packages, send me an email at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you. Here’s to many years of wedded bliss and great wine!