- Wednesday, October 7, 2009


As I sat down to write about this, one of my favorite subjects, I began by making a quick list of all the ways wine has a role in wedding celebrations. Included were obvious things, like serving sparkling wine for your toast; but then I realized how quickly one could take a wine theme and run with it. You could have wine themed invitations, centerpieces, place card holders, table numbers, favors, cake, cake topper, garter, or even – your reception location could be at a local winery. For those of us who like to dream, our wedding location could be here too!
Let’s start with – Choosing Wine for your Wedding
  • You’ll want to select at least one red and one white wine to serve, and in making your selection take into consideration your menu. I’d like to tell you that you should pair your seafood with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir with prime rib. But, since I’m not a sommelier, I’ll give you the best advice I can – don’t be afraid to ask! Ask your caterer to make suggestions (within your budget), ask your banquet manager what he or she recommends as a fine compliment to your chosen entrees- but ask. And then, taste.
  • Two fun ideas on how and where to taste: Check out events at your local wine stores – many offer in store tastings that will allow you to sample different wines. Or, sign up for ‘wine school’ – Vero in NYC has Saturday afternoon classes; or Divine Bar’s Vino-Versity. A gift certificate to one of these classes makes a thoughtful gift for newlyweds, or even as a thank you to your bridal party members.
  • Sparkling Wine for the Toast - I say sparkling wine, as opposed to “Champagne”, because you may prefer to select a Prosecco, Cuvee, or Cava. If you’re having a traditional toast, you may want to purchase (or register for) your own elegant flutes for you and your future husband to use on your wedding day. I personally love these Lismore Jewels Smoky Topaz Toasting Flutes from Waterford.
Your wine choice can be a great opportunity to add another personal touch to your day.  Consider selecting a wine that means something to you and your fiancĂ© – perhaps it’s the first wine you sampled together, or a varietal produced in the region your ancestors are from.  Remember, wine is a very personal thing and each person’s palate varies – so consider what flavors, styles and varieties of foods you’ll be serving and then ask for suggestions on which wines will bring out the unique flavors the best.
Now that you’ve selected the wines to serve, let’s talk About the Details
  • Add a finishing touch that will not only look elegant but will also enhance the flavor of your selections – serve the wine in a glass specifically made for that grape varietal. Also, ask your caterer/banquet hall to make sure they serve the wine at the correct temperature so it will taste its best.

  • A list of links for your inspiration board:

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If you’re both REALLY big wine lovers, you may consider a local winery or vineyard as your reception venue (FYI, a vineyard grows the grapes; a winery produces the wines).  The vineyards in Long Island wine country (on the North Fork of Eastern Long Island) offer great views, timeliness beauty, and a multitude of location choices for your big day.  Having just returned myself, I can confidently say that each winery truly has its own unique flavor and personality.  Visit each on your own, or take a North Fork Trolley tour, to see which locations match your character and vision.
Here are a few options worthy of mention:
  • Vineyard Caterers  – an elegant full service facility, similar to traditional wedding halls on Long Island, conveniently located in wine country 

  • Bedell Cellars -  owned by Michael Lynne, executive producer of the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lots of options onsite: barn-style mahogany pavilion, lavender field, apple orchard with a wisteria laden long arbor entry, or vineyard lawn. Plus: they have an in house event director to assist you with your every need

  • Peconic Bay – turn of the century farm winery, with sweeping vineyard views (and may I add, delicious wines!)

  • Macari Vineyards -  Owned and run by the Macari family since 1995, this vineyard’s tasting room is a great spot for your event - with its high, beamed ceiling, working fireplace and wrap-around porch.

So now you’ve selected, tasted, drank, and married – but by no means are you ‘wined-out”. If you enjoy entertaining, I suggest hosting a monthly wine club. It’s not as difficult as it may sound, especially when you use this great book as your guide, The Wine Club: A Month-by-Month Guide to Learning About Wine with Friends.  This will take all the guesswork out of hosting a monthly wine club, and includes everything from taste-testing know-how, interesting wine facts, and delicious recipes to serve along side the wine for perfect pairings. 
...Cheers, A votre sante, Salute, Yasas and L'Chaim!

© 2009 Cloud Nove Events. Want to use this article in your E-zine or website? You can as long as you include this complete statement: Wedding planner Regina Cialone publishes the “Cloud Nove Events” e-zine. Sign up to receive it in your Inbox bi-weekly at www.cloudnoveevents.com

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