I don’t care what all you cynics say out there, I love a good wedding! It’s not because I relish in spending weeks searching for the perfect ensemble, or trying to match my partners tie to the lining of my handbag. It is because it’s the perfect opportunity to get to together with family and friends, and provides the ideal setting to reignite relationships with long lost acquaintances. Long gone are the days of bucks fizz, an annoying master of ceremonies, and shrivelled turkey and ham. Weddings are now much more bespoke affairs.
Our wedding season is in full swing. Friends who recently tied the knot enjoy the finer things in life, wine, food and music being three of them. Champagne magnums on the lawn, shellfish platters with Sancerre, Roast beef and fist sized Yorkies all brought together with a yummy Aussie Pinot. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the wine and food experience.
For most it is an afterthought. But even you only remotely enjoy a glass of wine; it is something to take into serious consideration when planning a wedding. It is a real opportunity to make your day really memorable.
The first tip when booking a venue is to ask to see the wine list. Some licensed venues can charge extortionate amounts for their basic house /sparkling wines. For most couples it is a real shock when this added cost is put onto their final bill!
Reasonable wedding venues will not charge an arm and a leg, or even better, will allow you to bring in your own wine. More often than not licensed venues will charge corkage. As will outside caterers. This is basically a service charge per bottle for chilling, opening etc. Through our many wedding customers the lowest we have heard is £1.00 per bottle, and the most, well, I will leave that to your imagination. But it never fails to astound me the corkage some venues can get away with. So please, please please ask your venue/caterers about the wine they have available and their corkage charges. Not only will you benefit from having the wine you want on your special day, you will also have better quality wine and more often than not you will be making a significant saving.
So what wine do you go for? When talking to prospective brides and grooms I always start by asking their personal tastes, secondly the menu (as aforementioned wine and food are one of life’s great partnerships), and thirdly budget.
Sparkling Wine/Champagne is a must on your special day. There is something about a glass full of bubbles that just makes people smile. A wedding day is ultimately a celebration, there is no better way to start your new life together. People are often under the impression that champagne is the only choice.
But with great quality Prosecco, Cava, Loire Sparkling, and new world offerings from New Zealand, Chile etc there is a vast quantity of alternatives to choose from, that won’t eat up half of your budget!
Where do we start with the still wines? Firstly in the run to picking your wines make notes on wines that you have recently tried and enjoyed. Nothing too detailed. Maybe just the country of origin and grape types. If you take these to reputable wine merchants they would then guide you through their portfolio pulling out potential bottles that will tick all the boxes in regard to taste, menu and budget.
Then the fun starts. Great ways to find your perfect wines is to maybe a cosy night in just the two of you, or get the wedding party together and make an evening of it.
Either way you are taking the time to find the perfect bottles to complement your perfect day. And it will make your guests remember the day with a smile.