Hi, I'm Veronique Raskin and I am the founder & CEO of The Organic Wine Company. My blog is mostly about organic wine & self-development, as well as anything else that interests and inspires me!
Just as you pour yourself into the planning of your ceremony and menu, what you pour into your glasses for your first wedding toast is a significant a statement about your tastes and values. So how do you choose the perfect wine for your wedding reception?
What do you need to know? Ron Porter, sommellier for Organic Wine Company, breaks it down into some simple steps:
Keep it Friendly
Wedding wine should always be comprised of “friendly” selections that are easy to drink, as you generally have no time to allow the wines to breathe.
Schedule a Tasting
Consider hosting your own wine tasting event with your wedding party. Ask for recommendations online or at your local retailer and choose a variety to set aside in order to give yourself options for the best possible pairing.
Next, let your caterer know in advance that you plan to taste the wines when you sample the menu. Ask the caterer to also provide suggestions. Certain wines complement different foods of course, but not all red wines are the same. By intentionally sampling different reds with the food, you can find the wine that brings out the most delightful flavor in the course.
Conscious First Sip
If you are providing vegan and organic foods, don’t forget to offer comparable vegan and organic wines. Your selections reflect your values and also demonstrate how important the values of your guests are to your heart.
What is Organic Wine? Organic wines are made with organically grown grapes, so they are produced without pesticides and in harmony with humans, bees, and the planet. What many people do not realize is that conventional wine grapes receive even heavier applications of pesticides than table grapes, which made The Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen. The EPA has actually found 34 different pesticide residues in these wines. We don’t know what this combination is doing to our health, because no one has tested it. What we do know is that pesticides ingested at certain times in someone’s life can negatively and dramatically affect the health of a person forever, sometimes causing cancer and chronic illness. It impacts our future children too. The US National Library of Medicine has also linked reduced birth weight of infants to pesticides in cord blood. It’s all the more reason to pick a wine carefully.
Choosing to drink organic wine on the first day of your forever together is a wonderful way to honor the heart and health of your new family.
Is Organic Wine more expensive?
It is much easier to find affordable organic wines this year than ever before. Not all organic wines are equal, but Ron recommends the Perlage Pinot Grigio (the screwcrap is a blessing to the servers) and the red Frelin Cote du Ventoux or any Marouette wines. Both Frelin &Marouette are priced well and easy to drink.
Will a bottle of Organic Wine last until my anniversary? Not necessarily. NSA (no sulfite added) wines do not have as long a lifespan as other organic wines. However, contrary to the myth, only 1% of the population is allergic to sulfites. You can find a beautiful selection of great-tasting, carefully-made wines from organic grapes that include sulfites if you desire to save a bottle for your anniversary.
Be Generous But Not Wasteful
For a crowd of 50 or more, reserve a half bottle of wine per person (the larger the crowd the more non-drinkers there will be). For weddings with less than 50 guests, increase your estimate to 2/3 bottle per person.
In a four-season climate, it’s important to consider the season of the event. For instance, in summer white wines win over red 2:1 and in winter, red and white wines are equally preferred. In the San Francisco Bay Area, or in any moderate climate, a 50/50 split is appropriate year round.
Know Your Budget And When To Buy Wines Direct
Did you know that wine will most likely represent 15% of your total catering budget?
If you opt to purchase your own wines directly from a retailer, ask your caterer what the corkage fee will be to serve it to your guests. In general, expect to pay $15 per bottle. If you are electing to choose less expensive wines, the caterer may be able to provide a discount per case, although the industry mark-up is still usually twice retail. Whether it makes sense to buy your own or through the caterer will depend on the rates. Here are two scenarios to illustrate:
Bride’s family provides a $10 bottle of wine + $15 corkage fee = $25 per bottle of wine served.
Caterer provides a $10 wine and charges $20 to serve.
In this case, it is less expensive to order through the caterer.
Bride’s family provides a $20 bottle of wine + $15 corkage free = $35 per bottle.
Caterer provides a $20 bottle and charges $40 to serve.
Here it makes more sense to order through the caterer. Many organic wines are available in both situations.
Tell Your Story
Your personal touch sets your day apart from all others. Did you have a favorite wine from your first date? Take any vineyard photos? Perhaps your families descend from one of the many beautiful wine-producing regions in the world. These are all things to consider when selecting wine varietals for your wedding. Personalize glasses with creative charms to match your theme, customize wine glasses as favors, create your own labels or print descriptions of why these wines are meaningful to you and frame them at the serving station for guests to enjoy.
Article courtesy of The Green Bride Guide
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