Wine and weddings go hand in hand. But oftentimes, it is hard to decide which wines you should offer to your guests. With so many choices, where do you start? If you are having your wedding in California, your best bet is to have a variety of wines from certain regions in the state that reflect your style and taste. Here’s a guide to choosing the best California wines for your special day:
A great way to select which wines you want for your wedding is to taste a variety. Figure out which California wines will pair best with your menu. There are many wine tasting stores and wine bars where you can sample different types of wines. Vintana Wine + Dine at The Centre Escondido offers their “Prime Cru” Wine Tasting night every Wednesday. Stop by the Lanai from 6:00pm – 9:00pm and enjoy gorgeous views and live music while tasting Prime Cru’s discounted prices and waived corkage fees!
You can also taste different wines when you are out to eat or pick up a new bottle every few weeks. The ideal way to make your wine selections is to do it at the same time you are deciding your menu for the wedding. The wines you choose should compliment the meal. Work with your caterer when pairing wines with the menu, most will have a list of possible choices. The Centre Escondido has on-site wedding planners and breathtaking venues to help make your special day one you will remember for a lifetime!
For fall, winter and spring weddings, guests tend to prefer more red wine at indoor weddings, so consider having about half of your wines be California Reds. Full-bodied red wines are best if you are serving rich meats for dinner. If you are getting married in the summer or the outdoors, people prefer drinking a cool white wine. You can mix it up and have about 30% of each of the three styles of California white wines. Rosé is also a great choice for those warm summer weddings, especially if you are serving fish or seafood.
California White Wine Picks
California’s most popular white wines are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Other favorites include: Pinot Grigio/Gris and Riesling. Sonoma and the Russian River Valley are home to a ton of top Chardonnays so going with a wine from these regions is always a good choice.
Mount Eden Estate, Chalk Hill, Hanzell Vineyards and Kendall Jackson are all great California Chardonnays. For Sauvignon Blancs, consider Voss Vineyards, Hanna Estate Russian River Valley or Duckhorn.
California Red Wine Picks
The best choices for red wines for your wedding are Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. By and large, the best Cabernet Sauvignon red wines in California come from the Napa Valley and Central Coast regions. Stags Leap, Stonestreet and Robert Mondavi are all safe bets as far as Cabernet Sauvignon goes, while wines such as J. Lohr’s Fog Reach Vineyard, Fess Parker and Laetitia are savory choices for Pinot Noir.
California Rosé Picks
Dry Rosé wine is one of the fastest growing categories in the United States. It is a great choice if you are serving seafood and also matches with a variety of different cuisines including Mexican, Sushi and Indian. Some Rosé choices to consider: Matthiasson Napa Valley Rosé, Ehlers Estate Sylviane Rosé and Broc Cellars.
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