Weddings are a celebration. We host over a dozen weddings each year here at the winery, and we’ve seen it all! Each event is unique because every bride and groom value different things about their special day. One thing is constant, though: the wine!
Between our recently-married friends and the many brides and grooms we meet each year, we get a lot of questions about “wedding wine.” Which varietals to serve, how much to plan for…you name it, we’ve answered it.
So, which wines are best for serving at a wedding? Here’s a breakdown you can use to plan out your big day.
Red wine is the most traditional wedding wine, especially here in Italy. It symbolizes intimacy, love, and – most importantly – transformation. You can’t have a wedding celebration without red wine! These red varietals are a good choice:
Merlot: Merlot is known for being a crowd-pleaser. It’s velvety, rich, and robust in flavor; it stands up well to well-seasoned wedding food. Merlot is a great choice as the primary wine served at a spring or fall wedding.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Cab Sauv is deliciously fruity, and often has tasting notes of vanilla and spices. It’s lush and hearty, perfect for a wedding during the cooler months of winter and spring.
Pinot Noir: Pinot is an elegant and fruit-forward wine. It’s ruby red in color and pairs beautifully with lighter food making it a great red to serve during spring and summer events.
Every wedding has a number of guests who prefer white wine over red, regardless of food or season. The great news is, there are plenty of elegant whites to choose from that will enhance and compliment your event! Here are a few to consider:
Pinot Grigio: Italian Pinot Grigio is the “classic” wedding wine for a reason. It’s sophisticated and understated with notes of pear and a crispness that cuts through even the richest wedding food.
Lison: Lison is an underutilized Italian wine with notes of white flowers and peaches. It’s a beautiful wine to serve with light dishes like seafood and with hints of almond, even dessert!
Prosecco: Prosecco is Italy’s answer to any celebration! It’s a crowd pleaser and for many people, one of the most delicious sparkling wines to drink; prosecco offers notes of honey and plenty of fizz to light up toasts and compliment wedding cake.
Remember, the right wines to serve at your wedding greatly depend on your food choices. You can either build a food menu around the wine or a wine menu around the food, but be sure you consider the two as complimentary entities rather than independent decision.
As a rule of thumb, you want to budget for one bottle of wine for every two guests. You should, of course, have extra bottles of white and red on hand in case the party runs long. You only need one bottle of sparkling for every three to four guests.
Barbara Candoni DeZan