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Catering 101: Choosing A Wine For Your Reception

As we continue our Catering 101 series, let's talk about the wine. Though most couples serve a champagne toast, many also offer wine with dinner at their reception as well. Choosing a poor wine can leave a bad taste in your guests' mouths. However, with a little planning and know how, you can pick the perfect wedding wine.


How much can you spend?

Even if you are planning your wedding on a budget, you can still have a fantastic wine. Talk to your caterer. Tell them how much you can spend and ask for some reasonably-priced recommendations. If your reception venue allows you to bring in your own wine, that's your best bet, but always confirm food & beverage rules with your venue & caterer. You can shop around to get the best price at local wine shops and markets. You should be able to get a discount by buying cases in bulk. Make sure that you taste the wine before making your final selection!


Red or white?

Many factors go into choosing between red and white wines. Consider the time of year that you are getting married. In the summer, cool white wines are more suitable, while Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot and other reds are better for winter weddings. Also consider the time of day. If your wedding is in the afternoon, people will probably prefer a lighter wine. Guests will also drink considerably less in the daytime than at an evening reception.


Take into account your dinner menu. Your caterer can help you match the type of wine to the dishes you are serving. Generally red wines are better with beef or meaty pasta dishes. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and other white wines are better suited for seafood, chicken and creamy pasta. If you are serving a buffet dinner with a mixture of foods, buy half red and half white, allowing your guests to choose.



How much do you need?

Each bottle of wine holds about five glasses. For the average wedding reception, allow for two glasses per guest. If you know your guest list is full of wine drinkers, order more. Keep in mind that though some people will have several glasses, others will not drink any wine at all.



Selecting your champagne

If you are opting for a cheaper wine, spend a little extra on the champagne. Almost everyone at the reception will participate in the champagne toast. Therefore, don't go for the cheapest bottle you can find. Instead, select a nice mid-priced variety that is not exceptionally sweet. A Brut is the driest and is considered the standard in champagne.



We hope there tips can assist you with finding the perfect wine and champagne selection for your wedding! If you need assistance with menu planning, we can help. We also have a great list of preferred vendors that are flexible and can work with your needs.


With love,

Elle Lee Designs

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