Looking Ahead to Spring Weddings and Parties!!
We all look forward to the holidays, being with friends and family, and, during the cooler months these good times take place indoors. But, now the weather is warming up, the seasons are changing, and it’s time to think about the fun events and beverages that are right around the corner! A spring wedding will probably be the biggest party most of us ever throw, so let’s start there. A wedding has many moving parts. Some of these are more expensive than others, and all can be stressful, but wine and beverage selection needn’t be. Each wedding is unique, but there are times where beverages are always needed.
The Rehearsal Dinner
This is usually a smaller group involving close family and friends, and is simply a nice dinner. It can be just as fancy or informal as a family would like it to be. Generally, the full selection of beverage courses involved in this dinner are: welcome beverage, often wine or a sparkling wine and sometimes accompanying appetizers, entrée, a wine for the toast, and, often, dessert wine and post dessert offerings such as port or brandy. A wine professional can select wines to pair with individual foods at the desired price point. In addition, this is often the time at which groomsmen’s gifts are presented. A fine bottle of whiskey and a cigar or a flask are great options.
This is a fun opportunity for a sweet party and usually includes a signature cocktail and a light sparkling wine such as a prosecco for toasting. Lighter beverages are usually served as this is the beginning of what can be a long day. At the time of the toast, bridesmaids’ gifts are usually presented.
The Reception beverages can be highly customized for taste and budget. Here are some popular options: for the toast, Champagne is certainly popular and comes in many varieties and price points. Other styles of sparkling wine can be just as wonderful and less expensive. These choices might include Cremants from Burgundy, the Loire or Alsace; Proseccos from Italy; sparkling wines from California, some owned by the great Champagne houses of France (Roederer, Moet, etc.); and Cavas from Spain, which are more budget friendly (especially the wonderful Juve y Campos, Freixinet and Segura Viuras.) If you would like to serve a sweeter wine, a wide variety is available, including Charles Bove Sparkling Vouvray and many brands of Moscato d’ Asti.
Wine pairings for the entrée course are paired with the choices for the main protein, generally with a white wine for poultry or fish and a red wine for meat or game. Options are limitless, dependent only on budget or style.
This cocktail serves many functions. It can be as inexpensive as a punch or it can be the special beverage for the toast. Many popular cocktails include Cosmopolitans, Margaritas, and Mimosas. Different colored cordials, such as Chambord, Midori, Pama and Blue Curaco may be added to a sparkling wine to really make your event pop. A custom designed cocktail including such components as infused spirits can be created for the event. The sky’s the limit!
These parties can run the gamut from a patio or poolside brunch to a backyard barbeque or an informal indoor or outdoor seated dinner to an Easter lunch. Beverages for these occasions can range from an early morning Mimosa (Champagne or Prosecco and orange juice,) to Rosé or sparkling Rosé to enjoy on the patio or poolside, to a dry white wine for a charcuterie platter in the afternoon to a spicy red wine with barbeque to a sparkling wine with an Easter brunch or luncheon. Great wine styles for spring can include Albarinos or Viuras from Spain, Frascati or Orvietto from Italy, Sauvignon Blanc from Napa, France or New Zealand and, of course, any sparkling wine.
Whatever party or get together you have, enjoy the warmer weather and drink what you love!
Written by Pat Daniel. Permission to publish by Columbus & the Valley Magazine.