It all starts with champagne
The most important drink at a wedding is champagne. It creates a festive atmosphere and uplifts the mood. The main thing is that the champagne is well chilled. To do this, it is worthwhile to take care of the cooling containers with ice in time, which can be put in the trunk of the car. And be sure to foresee in advance that the wine is served well chilled. Unfortunately, this is often remembered when the wine is already poured into the glasses. Remember, it’s better to let it be too cold and warm in a glass than the other way around. Its main role is to refresh and quench your thirst. An insufficiently cold champagne can become simply unpleasant, in which alcohol and sharp acidity will be felt. However, the freezer is also detrimental to any wine!
Real champagne is not always appropriate, since not all guests are ready to appreciate your generous choice, so you can choose an alternative in the form of sparkling wines: Spanish Cava, Italian Franciacorta or French Crémant. All these sparkling wines are produced according to a method identical to that of Champagne, these are very high quality wines and, importantly, more affordable in terms of price. Don’t forget about Prosecco. If you like its light and unobtrusive style, then this Italian sparkling wine can also be the perfect drink at your wedding. In this case, I would still recommend choosing Spumante, that is, sparkling, because Prosecco Frizzante will be less sparkling, and the bubbles of such wine disappear very quickly in the glass.
With regard to the choice of champagne / sparkling wine, the following can be advised.
- Non-vintage champagne is recommended as an aperitif for light snacks (that is, without specifying the harvest year). Such champagne is considered the basic one in the manufacturer’s line, and at the price it will be the most affordable.
- With the role of welcome-drink, that is, a drink with which guests are greeted, in addition to champagne, sparkling wines, which have already been mentioned earlier, do an excellent job. You can also make sparkling wine cocktails. The most popular are Bellini, Kir Royal, Spritz and others.
- During the hot summer months, guests, especially ladies, will love the punch, which can be made with sparkling wine, berry compote and fresh berries on ice.
- Make sure that the offered sparkling wines are of different tastes, for sure there will be connoisseurs of both dry (brut) and semi-sweet wines among the guests. There are seven types of champagne, differing in the level of sweetness:
- brut nature: less than 3 g / l of sugar;
- extra brut: 3–6 g / l sugar;
- brut: 5-15 g / l sugar;
- extra sec (extra dry): 12–20 g / l of sugar;
- sec (dry): 17–35 g / l sugar;
- demi-sec (semi-dry): 33-50 g / l sugar;
- doux: over 50 g / l of sugar.
Tips for choosing a wine
Choose dry wines for the table, they go better with food. However, wines with high acidity are also at risk and can be difficult for the public. Therefore, I recommend choosing drinks from a hotter climate, they will be very fruity, pleasant and unobtrusive. Wines from Languedoc, Provence, Puglia, Sicily are modern and easily perceived by people of different ages. This will be an acceptable option for both connoisseurs and people who are just starting to get acquainted with this drink. Very exquisite wines can distract guests from the celebration, or, conversely, go unnoticed.
Remember that among those invited there will always be those who like something sweet. Do not forget to save a bottle or two of sweet or dessert wine for your beloved mother, grandmother or aunt, they will be grateful for your increased attention.
Here are three wedding wine selections for different budgets
In addition to sparkling and champagne, white and rosé wines should also be cooled for serving. However, red wines should not be too warm. Plan ahead of time where the drinks will be chilled and consider ice buckets to serve them. Wine stays cool longer if cold water is poured into ice buckets. Below is a table of the recommended serving temperatures for different wines.
- Champagne / sparkling wines: 4-7 ° C
- Light white wines: 8-10 ° C
- Rosé wines: 8-10 ° C
- Rich white wines: 10-12 ° C
- Dessert wines: 10-12 ° C
- Light red: 14-16 ° C
- Intense reds: 16-18 ° C
How to count everything
A professional sommelier can help you correctly combine wines with dishes, a specialist who will not only advise which wine is best for the selected menu, but also make sure that it is served in the right glasses, at the right temperature and on time. If you decide to fulfill this role yourself and want to think over everything in advance, then be prepared for the fact that it is the wine that requires a lot of attention and preparation, if you want everything to be done in the best possible way.
Wine at a wedding may not be the only drink. Unfortunately, there is no exact formula for calculating how much wine you might need for your celebration, but a rough estimate can be made. To do this, it is worth considering a number of points.
- Will there be other alcoholic drinks on the table? This reduces the amount of wine needed.
- Perhaps many guests will prefer champagne or sparkling wine during dinner, as it is a versatile drink to the table with a variety of dishes.
- It is important to consider how the dishes will be served: in the form of a buffet table or it will be a traditional banquet at the table, how long the celebration will take.
- The main factor that influences your choice of wine is the menu you order for dinner. If you envision a buffet table with appetizers, then the wines should be versatile and light. If you are ordering a hot dish, think in advance which wine is best for this dish. If guests are offered a choice of dishes, then, accordingly, it is necessary to take care of several types of wines, combined with each of the proposed dishes.
- Don’t dwell on just two alternatives: red or white. Let your guests have a choice.
- The season and weather also influence the preferences of guests: on a hot summer day, it is better to drink white and sparkling wine, and in cooler times, red wine.
- In order to calculate how much wine you need to meet guests, you need to take into account how much drink is contained in one bottle or glass.
- Let me give you one example of how to calculate wine for a wedding of 30 adult guests. Since someone will not necessarily drink wine and will prefer another drink, while someone, on the contrary, will drink several glasses, so 4 glasses of wine can be counted for one adult invited, which is 600 liters of wine + champagne.
- 30 x 240 ml (2 glasses each) of champagne at the registry office or church, in total – 10-12 bottles.
- 4-6 bottles of wine for the newlyweds on the road in case of unforeseen redemption or stopping on the way to the place of celebration. If you plan to make several stops, then count a glass for each guest.
- 30 x 240 ml of champagne or a welcome-drink, for a total of 10-12 bottles.
- For dinner for 30 guests, who, suppose, will drink only wine (at the rate of 4 glasses per person), 600 ml per person will be needed, for a total of 24 bottles.
- Thus, it turns out that 30 guests with a margin may need 24-30 bottles of sparkling / champagne and 24 bottles of wine.
- If guests stay overnight and a joint breakfast is provided for them, then light chilled champagne can prolong the festive mood the next day.
- This example is very rough. You should always take into account the personal preferences and wishes of the guests. It is important to remember that wine at weddings is easy to drink, but it is still an alcoholic drink, and you should not overdo it either. When calculating, always take a little wine with a margin. Even if it remains, you can still invite your guests for a glass of wine after the wedding to view wedding photos and videos together.
Ideas for a celebration
In addition to being served at the table, wine can also become an object of entertainment. For example, you can organize a blind tasting for guests or separately provide a tasting table where guests can taste and choose wines for different tastes. Of course, in this case it is necessary to take care of a professional or a sommelier who could suggest and tell something when choosing a wine.
Wine is also often used as a prize or gift at a wedding. Small bottles can be used for small rewards for participating in a competition or competition.
If you want to surprise your guests, you can create a separate wine list of several wines from different countries and varieties, which can be served along with the menu or simply be on the table.
A bottle or box of wine can also be a good gift for the newlyweds. For example, you can find some kind of exclusive wine with the harvest year when a young couple met each other. For such a gift, it is necessary to choose a wine with a great storage potential, so that it can be left and opened after some time. Be sure to ask a specialist how long this wine can be stored.
Many young couples leave corks from the champagne or wine served at the wedding as a keepsake. Such a small souvenir will be able to remind you of the wonderful moments of your unique celebration.