Wedding wines by Jane ClarePart 3 – Which red and white wines to serve at your wedding meal

You’re never going to be able to please everyone with your choice of wedding wines so there is no point getting into a tizz over it.
People will be just happy to be there and share your special day.
When you’re considering which wines you might want to serve, then think about the style of the food.
If you’re having lighter meats, such as chicken, or maybe a salmon course, then you wouldn’t want heavy red wines such as cabernet sauvignon and shiraz as they would overpower the flavours. Those heartier reds will be a good option with beef and lamb.
But think of this. You’ll have guests who like red wine, that’s no doubt, but not everybody likes big bold reds …. and the people who love big bold reds won’t be into lighter styles such as pinot noir. It’s never going to be easy to tick everyone’s boxes. For those reasons I think fruitier reds would be a better choice to cover all bases for people, and for food.

La Montesa Crianza (£15.95) is a gold-medal winning wine, so I’m already excited. The word crianza in a rioja indicates that the wine is still relatively young so it will still have lots of fresh fruity notes. That’s exactly what we have here  – this wine is licked with vanilla and red fruit aromas, it is soft and pleasing with light tannins. It would weave some wedding day smiles, no matter what your choice of food.
Rioja Reserva Viña del Oja  (£12.95) is a veritable fruit pot of vanilla, red fruits, and hedgerow fruits. One sip and the flavours soften out and you find yourself transported to a velvet cushion of fruit, vanilla and a hint of spice. If you’re having lamb – perfect. If you’re having beef, just as good. The softness of the fruit won’t overpower chicken or pork; and the wine has just enough statement to please the bold, hearty, red wine lovers.
Choosing white wines is a bit easier but you might still want to think about the match of flavours with the food. Some white wines, such as a sauvignon blanc, have lots of zest and signature styles, so can hog your tastebuds. Others, like a pinot grigio can be lifeless and uninspiring and a heavily oaked chardonnay can be a no-go for some choosy guests.

How about this. Chenin blanc is such a flexible grape variety, It pops up in sparkling wines, dessert wines, complex white wines and at the same time it is very approachable either on its own or in blends. This grape is perfect with fish, poultry and pork.
Percheron Chenin Blanc Viognier is a blend of chenin blanc and viognier, the latter adding a peep of creamy complexity and peachy aromas to the apple and citrus vibe of the chenin. This wine is a winner at £6.95. It hasn’t had any oak and it is a perfect fruit forward, zesty wine, which you can’t get tired of.
If you want to stretch to something a bit more exclusive then  Saint-Véran, Terres Noires, Domaine des Deux Roches 2015 (£18.95) is a wonderful example of chardonnay partly aged in oak and allowed to sit on its creamy lees once fermentation has finished. Don’t fret if you’re wary of over-oaked whites – this isn’t that white. A wine like this is subtle, and a perfect partner with poultry. Its character will stand up to beef if that is your wedding day feast of choice. Oh my, the wine is creamy and citrussy with buttery notes and good acidity. There’s just a dash of spice too, which will have come from the oak.
Finally, if you want a star of the show to round off your wedding meal then you could serve a dash of a dessert wine. I absolutely love these styles of wine.

Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest Riesling (£15 for a half bottle) is a delight. I would get married every day if it meant I could have a tasty glass of this dessert wine’s unctuousness. (But don’t tell my Other Half).
This wine from South Africa won the International Wine Challenge Great Value Sweet award for wines under £15 in 2017 and it is easy to see why. It has aromas of apricot and dried honey, a touch of grilled pineapple too and some soft notes of orange. These notes are also found in the flavoursome creamy palate, which still retains freshness because of the wine’s good acidity. A dessert wine like this is amazing with a cheese board if you’re planning a special Wedding buffet, or serve it to guests when you share slices of your wedding cake.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas in this series of blogs about choosing wedding wines. Enjoy planning your special day and don’t panic. You’re the stars of the show.