Wine Basics

It may not be the most pressing decision of your big day but choosing wines to accompany your wedding fare can greatly enhance the pleasure of your first meal together as husband and wife. If you don't know the difference between a Bordeaux and a Burgundy, let alone which wines are better than others - not to worry.
Our Irish Weddings Online wine expert Catherine Mulholland offers the following advice.

Don't always be sold on the 'house wine' - although it may be good, frequently it is neither cheap nor cheerful. If you're not familiar with wines, take a copy of your reception venue's list to a good wine merchant and ask them to review it with you. Most are happy to assist couples as they know it may help them generate future clients.

Always taste a wine before committing to it. Ask your reception banqueting manager for a bottle of whatever they are recommending, take it home and, in your leisure, taste it.

Choose wines that will embellish your meal, not overpower it. Heavily oaked whites, such as some of the new world Chardonnay, and spicy reds, like Syrah, demand equally `big' foods.

Avoid high alcohol content in wines for daytime drinking. Still Wines (also known as non-sparkling) typically vary from 11% to 14% alcohol, though for some it can be even higher. A content of 12% is ideal and there is much to choose from in this category. Popular whites include Loire Sauvignons or new world Rieslings. Popular reds include French Bordeaux blends (also known as Clarets) or good Spanish Riojas. There are many excellent value wines from the South of France to accompany most wedding food fare.

Enquire about bringing in your own wine. Although alcohol sales is where most hotels and restaurants make their profit, all of them will allow wine and champagne to be brought in from outside if the couple agree to pay a corkage fee. Fees vary greatly but most fall between Euro 5 and Euro 8 per bottle.There are some fantastic Sparkling Wines which look and taste as good as many champagnes for half the cost. So for less than the cost of the Hotels house wine you can have a delicious wine of your choice and save extra pounds.

See our selection of wine companies.