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Need help choosing wines for wedding reception from list (dinner menu also enclosed)

mikeh May 13, 2009 11:37 AM

I'm trying to choose some wines for my upcoming wedding reception (hors d'oeuvres, three-course dinner, chatting/dancing afterwards). I'm really not sure where to begin in terms of how many different wines to choose for each portion of the event, and which particular ones to offer (this is my first time hosting a party of any magnitude that is offering wine). I have included below the menu and the wine list that I have to choose from. Any recommendations/advice is greatly appreciated:

Hors d'eouvres
-Crab Cakes with a Lemon and Dill Aioli
-Goat Cheese with Green Tomato Chutney en Croute
-Wild Mushroom Tart with Parmesan Tuile and Truffle Oil

First Course
Grilled Asparagus, Poached Shrimp, Chopped Egg, and a
Sherry Vinaigrette
Main Course
Beef Tenderloin, Fennel and Yukon Gold Gratin, Tomato
Confit, Cremini Mushrooms and a Red Wine Beef Sauce
Fresh Fruit Tart

Vegetarian meal
-Poached Bartlett Pear with Blue Cheese, Walnuts and a
Maple Vinaigrette
-Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni with Pine Nuts, Tomato
Marmalade, and a Parmesan and Rosemary Cream
-Fresh fruit tart

Whites -
Labouré Roi, Chardonnay, Vin de Pays D’Oc, France
Lange, Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Four Graces, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Villa Maria, Riesling, Marlborough, New Zealand
St. Supery, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California
Eberle, Chardonnay, Paso Robles, California
Loimer Grüner Veltliner, “Weinland”, Austria (1 Liter Bottle)

Reds -
Belle Provencal Rouge, Cote de Ventoux, France
Cono Sur, Pinot Noir, Central Valley, Chile
Dona Paula, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina
Peirrano, Merlot, Sonoma, California
Four Vines, Zinfandel, Old Vine Cuvée, California
Tablas Creek, Cote de Tablas, Paso Robles, California
Roberts Sinskey Merlot, Napa Valley, California
Four Graces, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Hess, Cabernet Sauvignon, Allomi, Napa Valley, California

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  1. v
    vinosnob RE: mikeh May 13, 2009 12:28 PM

    My advice is to go simple (choose one red, one white) and select familiar wines most people know well i.e. chardonnay and merlot.

    I'm sure others will post about what constitutes the "perfect pairing", but that can get complicated, expensive, etc. and you probably don't want another hassle in planning a large event like this one.

    Based on that, I'd go with the Lange chardonnay (they employ some stainless fermentation so it will be more food-friendly than "typical" chardonnay) and the Sinskey merlot; btw, Sinskey is an especially fine producer.

    1. SteveTimko RE: mikeh May 13, 2009 12:57 PM

      The Loimer Gruner sounds like the most basic. If it's a 2006 or 2007, it might work. I'd taste it first.
      The Cotes de Ventoux I'm guessing is a Perrin & Fils. It's simple, probably, but Rhones can be some of the most food-friendly wines. Cotes De Tablas is probably more expensive but a safer bet. Tablas Creek rocks. I like Four Vines wines but I'm guessing the zinfandel is too big for the food.
      So if it was me, I'd taste the Loimer gruner and see if I liked it and I'd go with the Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas.

      8 Replies
      1. re: SteveTimko
        redmeatfan RE: SteveTimko May 13, 2009 01:47 PM

        see what the corkage fee is and bring in something better

        1. re: redmeatfan
          mikeh RE: redmeatfan May 13, 2009 01:49 PM

          the corkage fee is $25. We may bring in something better for select tables but that really starts to run a bill when you're talking the entire reception.

          for myself I'd love to bring in the vincent girardin charmes-chambertin grand cru.

          1. re: mikeh
            BrianD RE: mikeh May 15, 2009 09:37 AM

            I would strongly advise against bringing in "better" bottles for certain tables. That could send a message you don't want -- that some of your guests are worth more than the others.

            1. re: BrianD
              whiner RE: BrianD May 18, 2009 06:37 AM

              I've been to a wedding where the newlyweds' table was drinking different wines. I was not offended

        2. re: SteveTimko
          crw77 RE: SteveTimko Jun 2, 2009 02:29 PM

          Steve- I'm not sure why you think the Belle Provencal is a Perrin wine. They don't make a straight Cotes-du-Ventoux under the Perrin label.

          And Belle Provencal is much less expensive than Tablas Creek.

          1. re: crw77
            SteveTimko RE: crw77 Jun 2, 2009 03:21 PM

            CellarTracker! would disagree with you:

            1. re: SteveTimko
              crw77 RE: SteveTimko Jun 3, 2009 05:41 PM

              Well, yes and no. If you follow the link from there to search wine-searcher.com, they don't find any Belle Provencal at any of their stores.

              And the Perrin websites make no mention of it. The Perrin's importer is Vineyard Brands, and their website makes no mention of it.

              So you might be right that the Perrins produced it at one time, but it doesn't look like they do any more.

              1. re: crw77
                SteveTimko RE: crw77 Jun 3, 2009 06:18 PM

                Wine Searcher shows no wines with the name of Belle from the Cotes de Ventoux.

        3. carswell RE: mikeh May 13, 2009 01:52 PM

          Pretty much agree with SteveTimko's reasoning, though I've tried neither the GV nor the Cote de Tablas.

          Your hors d'oeuvres cry out for Champagne or a similar sparkler.

          1. b
            Brad Ballinger RE: mikeh May 13, 2009 07:17 PM

            St. Supery and Tablas Creek. Although, as far as Merlot goes, Robert Sinskey does a good job.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Brad Ballinger
              Aaron RE: Brad Ballinger May 13, 2009 08:59 PM

              Yes. I think the St. Supery would serve you well for the hors d'oeuvres and the first course. ( I like that paired with lemon, green tomato, goat cheese and sherry vinegar).

            2. m
              Maximilien RE: mikeh May 14, 2009 03:29 AM

              I'd add a sparkling wine for cocktails (also good for the rest of the meal)

              I agree with the other suggestions, keep it simple, 1 white, 1 red.

              1. l
                LJBTampa RE: mikeh Jun 1, 2009 11:10 AM

                mikeh, it sounds like a lovely menu. I'd go with the Four Graces Pinot Gris and the Dona Paula Cab. I think both would work nicely with your menu options and please most palates.

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