- Written by Nicholas Breeze Nicholas Breeze
- Published: 31 March 2014 31 March 2014
It’s an old truism that if you supply very good wine at a party then people will drink more as a response. This is a double edged sword: on the one hand your reputation for having good taste soars, however, it is likely the bill for the occasion will too. So what to do? We all want great value, quality and quantity when it comes to a once in a lifetime event such as one’s wedding. Having people wince in agony as they toast your nuptials is not good for the photos. Whispers of malcontent at the great wine in short supply is not desirable either. Then of course there is the food to consider. There has to be a degree of versatility in the wine. If you are celebrating in Britain then you’ll have no idea whether it’ll be raining cats and dogs, blowing a gale, or burning the exposed aged pates under the heat of the sun.
Choosing Wine Is A Job For Both The Bride & The Groom...
When I recently asked the UK’s top wedding planner, Mark Niemierko how he tackles the wine issue, he stated, “We would normally advise a client to attend a tasting with a sommelier, that we’d arrange. That way they can be walked through a range of styles and tastes and work to their budget. Ultimately you want wines that are easy to drink, because you’ll have one or two hundred different palates to cater for. The wine must also be versatile to pair with whatever menu the chef will be preparing.”
Although spending an afternoon with a sommelier is an attractive idea, it may not be suitable for everyone. However, Niemierko’s points about finding a style that is easy to drink as well as versatile, is worth keeping in mind. It maybe that you go to your local wine merchant and ask for a range of options within your budget, specifically asking for “good food wines” and easy drinking. It may also be that you consider a red and a white for your food that is particularly styled towards the food and perhaps a little more per bottle than the wine that is drunk after the meal. Make sure you taste the options before you buy. That is crucial. Also, if you have traveled and sampled wines from a particular place that you recall fondly, see if you can find an example from the region, and drop it into the speech. The audience will look on the liquid with even fonder eyes!
When it comes to the fizz then Champagne is always an obvious choice but perhaps you might be a bit more considered in your selection. For instance, Brits should be willing to show off the exceptionally high quality sparkling wines the UK is producing these days. Our sparkling wines are hauling in many International medals against champagne, much to their credit. Of course, there are now so many countries and regions producing high quality sparkling wine that no matter where you come from, you should be able to find a sparkling wine that heralds from not too far away. Find out what it is and get your hands on a glass to see what it is like.
Ultimately, buying wine for the wedding should be a fun job, and not just the “work” of the groom and his consorts. Ladies also have a good palate for wine and should ensure they’re drinking their preferred tipple too!
How much should you buy? You’ve got a mixed bunch coming. Some people don’t drink and others certainly do. You need to strike a balance. It is likely best to allocate around one bottle per head, so half a red and half a white, with some slack in case the tastebuds swing hard in one direction. Choosing well is crucial again; if the white is grim and the red good, you know what will run out fast! With the fizzy, expect your guests will guzzle down more than their fare share and keep in mind that you’ll need at least a splash left for everyone by the time the speeches come round.
With the wine in hand you can focus your attention back on your beloved and know that your guests will be delightfully oiled enough to dance to the worst pop music known to humanity. Enjoy!
with thanks to Mark Niemierko
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