What To Do With Leftover Wine
Most retailers will take back unopened bottles of the wines they sell to you as long as the labels and cork area haven’t been damaged or stained. Some will take back only full cases of the same wine if your retailer requires full cases, keep those nine bottles of Merlot and enjoy them on ensuing anniversaries, or give them to friends and family as mementos. For best results, store bottles horizontally in a dark space and at a consistent temperature. A bottle of opened bubbly may last another day or two in the fridge, but no longer.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine in America, and it’s best suited to serving with hearty beef and lamb dishes. The 2006 Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Family Yountville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is tasty proof that there are indeed affordable Cabs made in Napa this one is supple, medium- to full-bodied, and has textbook cassis and cedar Cabernet character. The concentrated yet palate-cleansing 2007 Amavi Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley , at $27, is as good as many $50 bottles. Merlot lovers need look no further than the supple, plummy 2006 Souverain Alexander Valley Merlot from Sonoma County.
For something a little more exotic, consider any of Ravenswood’s spicy, briary California Zinfandels, particularly the 2008 Napa Valley , which will please most red-wine lovers. The Alamos Selection Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina, is supple and juicy in black fruit flavors and is widely distributed. It’s a super bargain.
Best Northern California: Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Napa Valley, California | ABV: 14.1% | Tasting Notes: Blackberry, Brown spices, Vanilla bean
Today, thanks to co-owner Peter Mondavi Jr.’s leadership, Charles Krug winery is a pillar of Napa Valley. With longtime winemaker Stacy Clark at the helm, the wines are utterly delightful, classically structured and decidedly age-worthy.
I try to find off-the-beaten-path producers who inspire me with a story and passion. … Of course, one shouldnt ignore the classics however, there are too many great wines in this world to stop exploring past the point of comfort. Alexandra Neverov, sommelier, Topping Rose House
Selecting Champagne For Your Wedding
Choosing a sparkling wine or champagne for your wedding is important for toasts. You cant do a toast without bubbles! Remember that a bottle of champagne fills approximately 6-8 Champagne flutes. Wedding guests generally only drink about a 1/2 a glass of sparkling wine or champagne, so anticipate your bubbly wines only taking up about 15-20% of your total wedding wine bottles.
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Recommended Champagne and Sparkling Wines for Your Wedding
If your wedding reception is happening indoors or at night, consider rich sparkling wines or Champagne for your toast. Classic French Champagne, Blanc de Blancs or Blanc de Noirs & Italian Metodo Classico are a good place to start.
If your wedding reception is taking place outdoors or in the day time, consider Prosecco, Cava or a Sparkling Rosé for your bubbles.
Now that youve selected the wines for your wedding, check out some more wedding articles you might like:
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What Food Will You Be Serving At Your Wedding Reception
Whats on your wedding menu? When choosing your wines, its important to take the entrées and types of food you will be serving into account. Will you be serving steak? Chicken? Seafood? Pair your dinner wines with your entrée.
Chicken & Lean MeatsA medium-to-light bodied red wine complements chicken dishes. However, light-bodied whites, go well with lean chicken or turkey breast.
SeafoodLight-bodied, crisp and mineral-y white wines pair well with fish and most seafood dishes.
BeefA strong, bold red, like a Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon, complements beef or steak dishes, however, a robust Pinot Noir would work as well.
PorkBold white wines pair well with Pork dishes.
Best Washington: Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon
courtesy of woodwardcanyon.com
Region: Washington | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Black cherry, Menthol, Baking spicesWashington State is further north than Oregonbut, paradoxically, it’s best known for producing grapes that thrive in warmer climates. That’s because the majority of Oregon’s vineyards are located west of the Cascade mountains, exposing them to maritime weather and creating ideal growing conditions for cool-climate grapes like pinot. Washington’s vineyards, meanwhile, lie mostly east of the Cascades, so the maritime influences are blockedresulting in long, warm growing seasons that are perfect for hearty reds like cabernet sauvignon.
Only the second winery to be established in Washington’s prolific Walla Walla Valley, family-run Woodward Canyon has been churning out delicious reds since 1981, and their Artist Series cabernet is a blend of grapes sourced from some of the most highly regarded vineyards in the entire state, including the lengendary Sagemoor Vineyard. “The result is a silky, medium- to full-bodied wine bursting with notes of ripe black cherry, blueberry, cassis, warm baking spices, cedar, black pepper, menthol, and cocoa,” says Claire Coppi, a Certified Sommelier and a cast member on SOMM TV. “Wait about five years before opening, as the wine benefits highly from a little time to integrate in the bottle.”
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Best Italian: Emidio Pepe Montepulciano D’abruzzo
courtesy of mokawine.com
Region: Abruzzo, Italy | ABV: 13% | Tasting Notes: Blackcurrant, Raw meat, Black olives
It’s hard to think of a red grape that’s more quintessentially Italian than montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and it’s hard to think of a producer who elevates the grape to its highest potential more consistently than Emidio Pepe. Since founding his winery in 1964, Pepewho still oversees production of the wines, along with his daughters and granddaughtershas earned a well-deserved reputation for producing rich, hearty, powerful montepulcianos using only the most traditional of winemaking practices.
“It’s farmed biodynamically, destemmed by hand, pressed by foot and aged in cement tanks for a minimum of two years with no additives or manipulation,” says Shane Lopez, wine director at and Melanie Wine Bar, both in Los Angeles, Calif. “It’s a pure, traditional, and age-worthy expression of place resulting in a stunningly complex and structured red that will only get better with time.”
Most Popular White Wines For Weddings
White wines tend to offer a lighter, refreshing and more approachable drink choice. White wine types span from dry to sweet, with many options in between. Once you narrow down a specific variety of white wine, do some tasting of different brands, as the sweetness levels and even some of the aromas vary from one brand to the next.
Today, some of the popular white wines for weddings include:
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Wedding Wine Tip #: Try Before You Buy
Reading tasting notes is all well and good, but until youve tasted the wine for yourself its hard to say whether you actually like it or not. Make a shortlist of wines youre considering, and order a bottle of each to sample.
You can make the experience even better by asking a few close members of your wedding party to come round and try them with you. After all, its always good to get opinions from the people who will actually be drinking these wines. Its also another way to bond with your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Ask everyone to keep detailed notes on each wine. This way, when you wake up in the morning, youll have something concrete to refer to rather than a fuzzy memory.
Best To Pair With Red Meat: Stonestreet Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Courtesy of Wine Express
Sometimes you just need a big red wine, theres simply no way around it. If youre serving a steak dinner, prime rib, or pot roast, you should look for a tannic and powerful wine to stand up to it. For those nights, the 2016 Stone Street Cabernet Sauvignon from Californias Alexander Valley will do the job nicely.
The high tannins make it a great match for rich red meats, and the dark fruits will complement the carmelized and smoky flavors from a grill or other high heat cooking. Aged for 19 months in oak barrels, this bottle packs the flavors of cooked dark fruits like cassis and plums, paired with warm vanilla and baking spices.
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How Do You Choose The Best Wine For A Wedding
The perfect wedding wine is something that can be enjoyed by novice wine drinkers and enthusiasts alike. At a large event like a wedding, the food flavors are typically a bit muted. Every table will have a picky eater or two, or someone who cant handle spice. Similarly, a wedding isnt the time to experiment with oddball pairings or exceptionally strong wines.
The exception would be a small, intimate ceremony of close friends and family. In this case, knowing the likes and dislikes of your limited group may make you free to experiment.
A wedding wine will also pair with the main entree or entrees you are serving. If you are giving guests a choice of entree, youd ideally give them a choice of wine as well.
One strong principle of wine pairing is place-specific food pairings. An entree featuring bright Mediterranean flavors like lemon should be paired with wine from that region, or one with a similar climate like Napa Valley. Likewise, an entree featuring beef should be paired with wine from a region where cattle are raised like Argentina or Eastern Washington.
Best Wines To Please A Crowd
In our humble opinion, the best wine for a wedding is something drinkable and affordable. And you want to make sure you and your future spouse enjoy it, because if there are leftover bottles someone is going to have to drink em up!
When its finally time to decide on a wine, several varieties are well known as all-around crowd-pleasers. Rosé is its own thing, but something on the drier side is ideal.
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More Tips For Buying Wedding Wine
Do I need a Champagne toast?Not necessarily. Cava makes a delicious and cheap alternative to Champagne as its made in exactly the same way to give that lovely, toasty brioche flavour you get in premium fizz. Cremant is another great choice for low-cost fizz. Its made in France by the same method and occasionally with different grape blends depending on the region. Or, if you love the wines youve already got on the table stick to those.
Should I match wine with the wedding breakfast?Dont worry too much about food matching . Go for easy-drinking styles without divisive characteristics such as harsh tannins, super-high acidity, overt oaky notes or uber-subtle flavours which can get lost with strongly-flavoured foods.
Which style of wine should I buy for my wedding?If you dont feel confident in choosing the perfect style, there are a few easy bankers that wont let you down. Merlot gets a lot of flack for its easy-going nature, but this is exactly why it can make a great wedding wine: soft, round fruity flavours, a touch of spice and people-pleasing smooth texture: Chile is a great place to look for good quality inexpensive versions.
Also, look to Europes crowd-pleasing classics, such as Crianza Rioja, or lighter-weight valpolicella. A new world pinot noir makes a mouthwatering alternative, packing loads of crunchy cranberry and raspberry flavours.
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Want more inspiration?
Best Under $: Friend And Farmer Biodynamic Red Wine No Added Sulfites
Courtesy of Underground Wine Shop
The Handwork Granacha is certified organic, biodynamic, and made from 100 percent grenache. The vineyard is owned by three brothers in La Mancha, Spain. Their dedication to their land and home country is expressed in their commitment to organic and biodynamic wine production. When it comes to funky, earthy natural wines, this bottle is on the lighter end. It has a profound earthiness, but is still light and fruity.
This bottle is full of tart cherry and strawberry flavors, and packed with mouth-watering acidity. To cap it off, the value is unbeatable. For under $20, you get a quaffable bottle that pairs excellently with paella, a simple roasted chicken, or other light meats.
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Buying Your Own Wine And Champagne Versus Order Through A Caterer
You have two main options when deciding where to buy wine and champagne for wedding events ordering through your venue or caterer or buying your own wine cases.
Buying your own beverages gives you control over exact brands and varietals. You can also usually find better prices from outside vendors and retailers. Ordering wine and champagne through your caterer may cost you about double the retail price for that specific bottle. Sorry, bank account.
However, not all venues or caterers allow you to purchase and serve your own alcohol. Always check with both the venue and the caterer before researching and buying your own wine. No matter how much you love a glass of vino, you dont want to waste your wedding funds on cases of wine you cant use on your big day.
What Kinds Of Wine Should I Serve At My Wedding
Regardless of what kind of bar or alcohol service you want to provide at your wedding, wine is the number one type of alcohol that you must include due to sparkling wine and champagne being an integral part of the traditional toasts and celebrations. Many brides and grooms choose to offer at least two other kinds of wine on their wedding menus: one red and one white. How do you decide what kinds of wine to serve? How do you know how many bottles will be enough? Does it really matter how expensive each bottle of wine is? We answer these questions and more to help you figure out what kinds of wine you should serve at your wedding.
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Have A Simple Variety
“A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rosé instead” aren’t just lyrics from a Billy Joel song, they’re also words to live by as you select the wines you’ll serve at the reception . “You don’t want to make it too complicated,” says Gillian Sciaretta, associate tasting coordinator at Wine Spectator. “Just picking a white, red and sparkling is a good way to go people who have very different preferences will still enjoy the wine.” To keep it simple, choose a white wine that’s light and refreshing , and stick with a red that’s a little bit on the crisp and fruity side , since both can go well with a variety of food. Then pick a mild champagne or prosecco to hit the bubbly note. “As long as the wines offer pleasant flavors that appeal to a large crowd, you should be good to go,” Sciaretta says. “People are always just happy to have a good glass of wine in their hand.”
How Much Wine Should I Get
Running out of wine at your wedding would be a travesty, so make sure you pick up enough to serve everyone. Many people enjoy drinking a glass of wine with dinner, while some enjoy drinking wine throughout the night. To accommodate all of your guests of legal drinking age, the general rule of thumb is to purchase one drink per person per hour of your reception. A typical ratio of alcohol to serve is 1/3 beer, 1/3 liquor and 1/3 wine as well as sparkling wine or champagne. So, if you have 100 guests in attendance then you will need about 30 to 40 glasses of wine per hour. With approximately 4 glasses of wine per bottle, youll need about 8 to 10 bottles of wine per hour. If your reception is 3 hours long, we suggest purchasing about 24 bottles of wine, or 2 cases. Each bottle of sparkling wine or champagne will provide about 8 glasses to toast, so for 100 guests you should purchase 13 bottles of sparkling wine for toasts only.
Photo Credit: Hakee Chang
Of course, if you know your side of the family are excellent wine-drinkers, then you should tailor your alcohol menu to have more wine. If you find yourself in between cases , we suggest rounding up. After all, if you have any left over after the wedding, you or your guests can take it home!
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About The Winery Gallo
Apothic Wines, like the one showcased in this review, are a wide range of offerings produced by the biggest wine producer and exporter in California, E.J. Gallo.
Founded and ran by Ernest and Julio Gallo, until they died, the winery was set up in 1933.
This range all began with the release of the first Apothic Red in 2010 and it has gone from strength to strength ever since.
The Apothic Red and other Apothic wines are crafted by the companys skilled Debbie Juergensen.
From the very first vintage of this range to the most recent, Debbie is always looking to create a unique blend with bold flavors and intense aromas.
She allows the grapes themselves to dictate the way the flavoring is going to turn out.
She has said she likes to tell a story with each vintage and blend. Although you could be forgiven for thinking that was just some clever sales pitch.
As this Apothic Red blend will not do show you, it really does feel as if its telling a story from the first sniff to the first sip and then that long and satisfying finish.
These Whites Reds Ross And Bubblies Are Perfect For All Of Your Wedding Celebrations
In This Article
From the moment you get engaged until your final wedding reception toast, you and your loved ones will clink oh-so many glasses. But choosing the right wines to serve at your wedding and pre-wedding events can be challenging.
Here, we spotlight 25 of the best wines to serve during your upcoming nuptial celebrationsbecause when the wine price tag for the average 200-person wedding is around $6,000 , these things shouldnt be left to chance.
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