Patricia Dinsmore - Wine Writer, Event Planner and Wine Consultant

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Wine at your Wedding

Posted on January 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

How many of you are recently engaged?

Two years ago I was in the same situation as you - newly engaged, trying to find a venue (and a wedding dress) and wanting to make sure that the wines we chose complimented the food we were going to be serving.  Some people think of that as impossible or, at the very least, difficult to accomplish.  After all, not every banquet space is going to have a decent line up of wines and even fewer will have what you are looking for.  For me, it was all about serving local wines - I wanted Ontario to be well represented and that is still a rarity unless you are in wine country itself.

It may require a bit of "hunting" or it may require some negotiating with the venue but getting wines that suit your tastes is definitely something that can be accomplished.  When you start looking at venues and looking at their menus, ask them for a list of the wines they regularly serve and what upgrades can be made.  My husband and I got lucky - we found a venue, the Ajax Convention Centre, that were forward thinking and already had a medium sized Ontario winery as their house wine.  They were also more than willing to look at other wines from that winery as upgrades for us if we wanted to go with soemthing other than the house white or red.  Our next step was figuring out what our menu choices were going to be and then see if their house wines would pair with the food we had chosen.  It did so our next step was to look at what bubby they were serving for the toasts.  This is where we had to do some work...but it was fun work.  The sparkling wine that our venue was serving was a Spanish Cava and, as lovely as it was, it was not an Ontario sparkling wine.  Our venue allowed us to choose whichever wine we wanted to use as long as it was available through the LCBO so our next step was to see which Ontario sparklers were available through the LCBO and then have a tasting party to see which one we liked the most. 

Depending on the venue you find, you may not need to have any tasting parties to choose the wines you will be serving but, even if you do not, there's no reason why you can't have a tasting party at your house with members of your family and bridal party.  The key to remember is have fun, enjoy this part of the wedding planning and sit back and relax.  Honestly, figuring out the food and wine for your wedding is one of the funnest parts of planning a wedding and, if you have a great venue that is willing to work with you to create the perfect day, it will be one of the most stress free parts of planning it too.

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