With so many details to consider as you’re planning your wedding, some just drop to the bottom of the list. Maybe it’s the ones you don’t care that much about, or the ones you don’t know about.
But when you see your guests reach for their first sip of wine at dinner, you’re going to want to know that you put in the effort to choose the perfect bottle. Happily, the wine subscription service Firstleaf has created a guide to make the choice a little easier.
- Wine recommendations for the most common wedding entrees
- The most popular wedding wines, both reds and whites
- How to make the calculations so you buy enough wine
Should You Choose a Michigan Wine?
You may not realize it, but only five US states produce more wine than Michigan. Our state bottles about 1.3 million cases of wine per year. Could some of these be the right choice for your wedding?
In my experience, couples choose a local wine for one of these reasons.
1) Buying local. We know small business owners like wineries work hard to provide our community with a superior product. Spending your wine budget with them is a small way of showing your support.
2) Special memories. Did you go on a date to a winery, or was a winery visit part of your first vacation together? A wine that represents a special moment in your relationship is both unique and meaningful.
3) Showcase Michigan. We have a lot of pride in made-in-Michigan products. So whether you’re just being loyal to your soil, or showcasing a wine to out-of-town guests that they can’t get a home, a local wine can be a conversation starter.
4) Your wedding’s at a winery! It just makes sense to feature the wine that’s made on site if you’re getting married within view of a vineyard.
If you aren’t well-versed in the area’s wineries, here’s an idea of where to start. The Michigan Wine Collective holds an annual competition for the state’s best wine. The most recent event was in 2019. These wines were named Double Gold winners, the highest ranking in the competition.
Amoritas Vineyards Fascinator Dry Muscat 2018
- Amoritas Vineyards Pinot Blanc 2018
- Bel Lago Riesling Ice Wine 2017 (Best of Class, Dessert Wines)
- Good Harbor Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling 2017
- Karma Vista Vineyards Stone Temple Pinot 2015
- Laurentide Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2018
- Leelanau Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2018
- Lemon Creek Winery Kerner 2018
- Shady Lane Cellars Semi Dry Riesling 2017
- St. Ambrose Cellars Sunset Beach NV
- St. Julian Winery/Braganini Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
- Verterra Winery Pinot Blanc 2018 (Best of Class, Dry White Wines)
- Verterra Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2018
- Walloon Lake Winery Reycraft Red NV
- Youngblood Vineyards Marquette Estate Grown 2018 (Best of Class, Dry Red Wines)
See all the winners here.
Chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon are the most popular wedding wines, because of their drinkability. Typically, these wines won’t have strong flavors that can put off casual wine drinkers, or clash with the flavors of food.
Choosing a Non-Michigan Wine
There’s a drawback to only looking locally. You limit your choices. If wine pairing is very important to you, you may not find the ideal wine from among what’s produced here. There may be a different wine, from a different part of the world, that’s a better match.
According to Firstleaf, geographic pairing is a key rule of wine pairing. That is, you want your wine to come from a similar area as the food you’re serving. So if you really want a seafood dish at your wedding, the most appropriate wine pairing would be from a coastal region.
Whether you go choose locally or globally, the right wine can accentuate your food choice and make the event just a little more special for you and your guests.
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