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May 16, 2010 01:20 PM

Need Help -- Red Wine not Allowed at our Wedding Site

My fiancee and I are getting married this summer in a museum that unfortunately prohibits us from serving red wine because they're worried about people spilling it and staining the facility or the art. I rarely drink white wine, and since the menu choices are salmon or prime rib, I'm sure a good number of people are going to be disappointed to not have a choice of red (myself included!).

I could really use some recommendations on white wines that are the closest thing to red, especially some that could stand up to a slab of prime rib. I tried a nice bottle of Zaca Mesa Roussanne served at room temperature a few months ago that is the closest thing to red I've ever had in a white, but at around $25 a bottle, it will set me back quite a bit to serve it to a wedding of 150 or so people. We are going to buy all the wine ourselves for the caterer, so we have flexibility.

Any thoughts or help is very much appreciated.

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  1. Here's some suggestions re. pairing whites & steak.

    Given budget constraints, I'd stay away from mengathon's Krug, Haut Brion blanc proposed by sedimental, or 1955 and 1967 Château d'Yquem proposed by carswell. However, the reisling proposed by Steve_K et al. sounds reasonable.

      1. Can you have your caterer prepare a white meat (pork, veal, chicken) instead of prime rib?

        1. Helpful suggestions. We can't do rose either, just white, and I think we are set on serving the prime rib.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DC Wine Fan

            «we are set on serving the prime rib»

            Then I think you should reconcile yourself to two likely outcomes:

            - you probably aren't going to find anything approaching a satisfactory pairing for the beef (all of the wines recommended in the thread RicRios helpfully links to are more expensive -- often much more expensive -- than your apparent budget);

            - a number of your guests are going to be disappointed (to say the least) at not having access to a red wine, are going to feel deprived of a satisfactory accompaniment to their beef. Some are even going to resent being forced to drink white wine (amazingly, a surprisingly large percentage of wine drinkers dismiss or even detest whites).

            My recco would be to get the biggest, richest, toastiest sparkler you can afford -- a poor man's Bollinger, if such a thing exists -- and serve it and only it throughout the event, from the toasting of the bride and groom through dinner and beyond. If there's a wine that goes with everything, Champagne (and to a lesser or greater degree its imitators) is it. And by buying in quantity, you might be able to secure the kind of discount that will enable you to serve a white wine that has a fighting chance against a bloody prime rib.

          2. Sounds tricky: A museum setting where you can't have red wine. A caterer who offers two entrees, salmon and prime rib, both of which are red wine entrees. Guests who will be disappointed with no red wine.

            I agree that expensive, aged champagne will go well with roast fowl, pork and veal chops, but both the wine and meal will cost you dearly.

            Perhaps you can have a Champagne toast and hor d'oeurves inside the museum, then move the dinner into a heated tent on the grounds. Or, you may wish to admit that the Emperor is wearing no clothes -- the museum is an untenable option -- and begin afresh with new venue options.