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Choosing Your Wedding WineWith all the decisions that go into planning a wedding, choosing your wine is often overlooked and left to chance. Take an active interest and select wines that show off your personal style and taste. One of the best places to start is your South Dakota wine specialty merchant who can point you in the right direction.
Things that you must consider are wines that pair well with your menu, the number of guests and your budget! Start your search months before the wedding by buying a bottle or two each week. As you try them keep notes including name of the wine, type, producer, vintage, taste, smell, overall impression, where it was purchased, and price. This will help you later when it comes to making your final decision. Another good idea is to attend a wine sampling or a wine dinner. This will allow you to try several types of wine and see how each can enhance the flavors in the food.
If you really want to get into wine tasting, follow this simple guide. There are really only 3 major things to consider: smell, taste, and overall impression. First, swirl it in the glass; this will help bring out the aroma. Take a sniff by putting your nose directly into the glass. A pleasant aroma can greatly affect the taste. Second is the taste. Is it sweet or dry? Different types of wine will bring forth a wide variety of flavors. Last and most important of all, what was your overall impression? Did you like the wine? After all it is your wedding, and the wines you serve should be a reflection of your tastes. All these questions will help you on your quest to find the right wine for your special day.
There are many choices when it comes to wine, so do not get overwhelmed. If all else fails you can always rely on the basics. For those guests who prefer white wine a good Chardonnay will always be a crowd pleaser and a decent Merlot will satisfy those guests who appreciate a red wine. One thing you may want to consider is choosing a local wine produced right in your own backyard, and your guests will appreciate the local flare.
Now for the pairing; red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat? This is the general rule of thumb….right? There are however always exceptions to the rules. #1: Drink what you like… rules are made to be broken! #2: Chicken and fish are “white meat,” but depending on the preparation a fruity red might be a better choice. #3: Match likes with likes; sweet with sweet and spicy with spicy. #4: Opposites attract!
When it comes to your cake a nice Riesling pairs wonderfully; and if you are serving a chocolate cake nothing compliments better than a nice velvety red such as a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Your final consideration is what type of Champagne or sparkling wines you would like for toasting purposes. You can choose sweet to brutally dry and everything in between, so follow the same steps as selecting your wine. Be sure all of your guests can take part in the traditional toast by offering a non-alcoholic beverage such as a sparkling cider. Now, go ahead, get tasting and incorporate wine with confidence!
-The Little Cellar Wine Company, Nancy Zuraff, Sioux Falls, SD
Monthly Wine Dinners are hosted by The Little Cellar Wine Company the 3rd Thursday of every month. A four-course meal prepared by Carnaval Brazilian Grill is paired with four premium wines. Contact them at 605-361-8585 for more information or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was also featured in the 2009 VOW Wedding Planner. To view a PDF of this article, go to the CATERING, CAKES & BEVERAGES section of VOW.