When you think of Tuscany, the first thing that pops into most minds is rolling hills dotted with olive trees and vineyards. Lots and lots of vineyards! In fact, according to The Florentine website, Tuscany boasts over 12,500 vineyards making it one of Italy’s largest wine-producing regions. But don’t let this intimidate you! Just think, with THAT many vineyards, the perfect wine for your dream Tuscan wedding is out there. You are just going to have to do a little (delectable) work!
There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to pick the perfect wine for your wedding. We have outlined seven useful steps to make the process as smooth and easy as a Chianti Classico on a cold winters’ night!
Consider your Budget
First and foremost, determine your budget. Wine can be one of the most expensive items on the wedding menu, so knowing how much you can spend will help narrow down your options. A good rule of thumb is to consider 4-5 glasses per one 750mL bottle of wine and half a bottle per guest. Of course, some will have more (sometimes much, much more) while some will skip the wine all together. There are plenty of online drink calculators that can help you determine the approximate number of bottles you’ll need.
What’s on the Menu
Consider the food on your menu when choosing wine. Certain wines pair better with specific dishes. For example, white wines typically pair well with seafood, chicken, and lighter fare, while red wines complement red meat, pasta dishes, and heartier meals. A good rule of thumb is to match the intensity of the wine to the intensity of the dish.
Choose a variety of wines
Offer a range of flavors and styles to cater to different tastes. It’s important to take into account the tastes and preferences of your wedding guests when selecting wines. While you may have a favorite wine, it’s important to choose something that will appeal to a broad range of palates. Consider offering both red and white wines with your meal… and don’t forget about Rosato (or blush) wine!
The time of year and location of your wedding can also play a role in which wines you select. Since most wedding happen during the summer months, a crisp cold white or rosato will go a long way to keeping your guests cool. A good rule of thumb is to consider offering lighter, more refreshing wines in the summertime, and warmer, heartier wines in the winter.
Do your homework, schedule a tasting
And delicious homework it is, indeed! You should always “try before you buy”. You can only glean so much from a written description. You need to sit down and see what you think. If you are planning a trip to view venues or sample caterers, be sure to include a wine pairing and tasting. What better way than to taste for yourself.
If you are not able to schedule a tasting in Tuscany, consider ordering a few bottles to be delivered to you for a private tasting in your own living room. Asking a few close friends, maybe even members of your wedding party to participate can be a fun way to pass an evening while checking off a few items on the old wedding to do list. But remember to remind everyone to take notes! It is easy to get a little carried away and forget that this is actually WORK!
Don’t buy the cheapest option
You don’t need me telling you the painful effect of too many sulfites (preservatives) in your wine from the night before. Your head will certainly let you know when you wake up! While it is true, higher-priced wines may not always be better, going for the cheapest and choosing quantity of quality can leave your guests reeling and feeling a bit under the weather the day after. There are bound to be plenty of great options at your price point. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.
Ask an ExperT
With so many amazing small and medium sized wineries in Tuscany, asking for a little help to steer you in the right direction is bound to lead to a great discovery. Consider consulting with your caterer, venue site or winery near your ceremony for suggestions and feedback. These wine professionals will be able to help guide you based on your preferences, budget and guest list. Remember, the ultimate goal is to find a wine that reflects your style and personality, complements your menu, and pleases your guests’ palates.
P.S. Don’t forget the Prosecco!
Okay, this is a shameful addition. I admit it, but I LOVE Prosecco. And I hate it when it is considered an “afterthought”. Oftentimes, couples spend all of their time, energy (and budget) focusing on dinner and they forget to try the Prosecco. I know that sometimes it get’s a bad wrap. I have had some that is so sweet it makes my teeth heart and my head swim, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Whether you choose it as bubbly a welcome drink, a base for the all-important Aperol Spritz, or for a toast gathered around your wedding cake, try a few and choose one that people will want to drink!
In conclusion, selecting the right Tuscan wines for your wedding doesn’t have to be a complicated process. With a little bit of planning, consideration of your guests’ preferences, and pairing with your meal, you can ensure your guests enjoy the perfect wine to help you celebrate your special day.
Tell us how we did. Is this article helpful for selecting your wines? Let us know if you have some other great ideas!