How to choose the right wine for your wedding day

22 Jul 2016

There's more to wine than a delectable taste and a warm, fuzzy feeling. Here's how to make sure you get your wedding day wine choices right

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Find the perfect selection of wines for your wedding day with the help of Vinotopia - wine experts based in Tetbury.

1. Budget

Set yourselves a sensible budget and make sure that the wine merchant is aware of this before they start suggesting wines to you. We would all like to have the very best, but it is better to have more of something good, than have less of something amazing. There is a trend developing where the top table have a slightly better wine than the rest of the guests, but this will depend if you are happy to do this.

2. The perfect complement

Discuss with your wines merchant what you are eating; they can then match wines to the food that you are planning to have and ensure that the flavours don’t clash.

3. Personal taste

What do you like in a wine?  It is all well and good us telling you what we think you should have, but if you don’t like chardonnay there is no point selling you a Chablis or a Macon Village! Too many people are talked in to having something that they think they should have and then on the most special day of their life; they don’t enjoy it.

4. Quantities

Unless you have half of the local rugby team or a seasoned group of wine enthusiasts, people don’t guzzle wine at a wedding. Most people will tell you that you should allow one or two glasses of sparkling wine for the arrival drinks, one or two glasses of red or white wine with the meal (or rose, if you prefer) and then a glass of champagne or something fizzy for the toast. Always go slightly over on these quantities to cover you having a bottle of fizz when you are getting ready, and then to make sure you are covered with people who drink more red than white.

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5. Sale or return

This is always worth checking with the wine merchant to see if they will take any surplus wine back after the event. We will happily take 25% of the order back as long as it is in a saleable condition i.e it has a recognisable label on and the boxes are in one piece. it is generally worth checking what the wine merchant's terms are on this, as some people then think they they can have twice the amount just incase they do run out. If this is the case and your wine merchant agrees to take any returns, you could be left with a lot of wineon your hands.

6. Driving to France

Great if you have the time, but you really need to know what you are looking for and where to find it. Customs and Exercise may get slightly concerned if you are bringing back half of Burgundy and there are limits to how much wine you can bring into the country for personal consumption, which is currently 90 litres or 120 bottles. This will change when we come out of the EU and the amounts will be a lot less.

7. Instruct the venue

Make sure that your venue is briefed on how the wines should be looked after; white wine shouldn’t be too cold and red wines should be opened in good time to allow them to breathe - normally an hour before the meal is served. Ask them to just open wine as you need it, if you have agreed the wines to be on a sale or return basis the venue should be made aware of this and make sure that they don’t plunge bottles in iced water or open them all up to save time later.

8. Appeal to the masses

Try and pick a wine that will appeal to the general room. The rule of thumb is to pick something that is easy to drink, isn’t too tannic, too sweet or too dry. If you are going to see a good wine merchant they will have this in mind and steer you to wines that will work for you and your guests.

9. Customise bottles

Consider personalising your wines bottles to make your day even more unique. We offer a bespoke wine labelling service on a good range of wines and sparkling wines, creating customised wines labels for the happy couple to give them something special on their happy day. It also gives the guests something to talk about between speeches.

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10. Quality over quantity

The supermarket may be cheaper but there is a reason for this. Supermarket wines are bought in bulk from producers who create wines specifically for the supermarket chains. Wines are often very young, haven’t had enough time in the cellars to develop and to make up for this, there are a lot of additives to make the wine taste appealing. Ever wondered why you get that fuzzy head the next day? Go to an independent wine merchant, they will give you a much more personal service and offer you some great wines that will really make your day special.

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