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Sep 15, 2013 05:47 PM

This... or that?

So a couple months ago several of y'all were very helpful with some thoughts on wedding wine. I've narrowed things down, and would love to hear how I am doing. It's a buffett and we are serving a variety of foods, so wine that works for (indoor, fall) cocktail hour and then food is key. We'd like to keep bottles under $20.

Gruet Brut or Segura Viudas Aria Brut?

I am thinking sauvignon blanc. Wines I have seen recommended and that are available include Babich (2010, $12), Kim Crawford (2011, $13), Groth (2012, $18), Villa Maria (2010, $13), Matua Valley (2012, $9), Spy Valley (2011/12, $18) or Smythe & Renfield ($12.99).

I have also seen some other varietals that looked interesting. La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (2010, $17) or Foxglove San Luis Obispo Chardonnay (2009, $15) or perhaps the Dragonstone riesling (2009/2010 $17).

Or am I totally missing something - Loire Valley ideas perhaps?

I have the same situation with reds, but I thought I'd start here! Thank you!

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  1. Gruet.

    The Loire Valley SB's will be more pricey than those you've mentioned from NZ. But I think Chardonnay is probably more food-friendly across a wider spectrum of food choices than SB -- and I prefer SB.

    3 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      Ah thank you all for the honest replies! The truth is we are having over 300 people and with multiple buffet stations and passed apps, so given dinner is ~1 hour and cocktails/dancing (including passed apps and later dessert) is ~5 hours, I thought matching would be hard so I would just go with what I might order first walking in.

      A guest at our wedding will probably at some point try ceviche, chili fried oysters and shrimp and grits, short ribs, bacon wrapped quail, rum banana cake, and if they hang in late enough - sliders with fries.

      I am actually a HUGE riesling fan - it is probably my restaurant go to (because chardonnays and I have an iffy history!) but I am afraid thats an underrated wine that people think they dont like even though they do, and I am not sure I am ready to educate this many people?

      Since we are doing a full open bar I am not sure how that factors in here either - maybe i actually should be catering to the real wine drinkers?

      1. re: mc22

        Ceviche: most white wines will work with this, certainly including chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, muscadet, just about anything really.

        Chili fried oysters: the CHILI is the key here... that really limits the appeal of chardonnay and SB... riesling is the perfect match for this dish.

        Shrimp and grits: Chardonnay, especially given the likely butter notes.

        Bacon wrapped quail: this is a fairly wine-friendly dish. Pinot Noir is my first reaction but syrah also interesting given the short ribs and sliders... riesling also works for me with this dish.

        Short ribs: I'm thinking syrah for this, another reason being that the syrah can work with your bacon-quail dish also AND with your sliders!

        Rum banana cake: I really like muscat here as it matches the fruit and also the rum... sweet sherries also work. As another "universal" drink for this buffet you might have Moscato d'Asti out from the get-go. It will pair with the dessert but also work with your other dishes pretty nicely.

        SO, if I wanted to match this buffet spread I'd go for:

        Whites: Chardonnay and Riesling
        Reds: Really like syrah here overall,
        Sparkler: Moscato d'Asti

        but here's another definite: serve a wheat beer (either a nice domestic US micro-wheat or a german hefe-weizen), it's a very food-friendly beer for your beer-drinking friends, and will match alot of this food.

        NOTE: Sauvignon blanc really does not figure into this buffet and would be a poor overall match for much here... glad you posted this question in time, enjoy.

        1. re: TombstoneShadow

          Thank you so much Tombstone! I hate to press further, but do you have any specific Chardonnay or syrah recs? (LOVE the syrah idea). We are in Texas and keeping things under $20, at least in theory...

    2. mc22... I think youre definitely missing something.

      IMO, sauvignon blanc is very food-specific wine, LMK what precisely you have on that "variety of foods" buffet and I can speak more definitively about whether SB might be appropriate.

      IF I have to close my eyes and pick one white wine for an unidentified "variety of foods", then everytime I'm going to reach for a Kabinett Riesling... which is far removed in flavor from sauvignon blanc.

      For the same unidentified "variety of foods" in a semi-sparkler I'm going to reach for Moscato d'Asti, it's just tremendously food-friendly from apps to even dessert.

      Reading further through your post I think you're missing something... the LINK between the wines you're contemplating and the foods you'll be serving. Unless you have that link resolved you are really taking a risk here... just being honest.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TombstoneShadow

        For a random crowd of people eating a wide variety of dishes, an off-dry or sweet wine seems beyond risky to me. It's pretty much guaranteed that a few people will love it and a lot will complain that it's sweet.

      2. I think Kim Crawford's as good as any the others I've had.

        A similar Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is my everyday white, it's nice as an apéritif, very food-friendly, and generally appealing.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Interesting you'd say that... I prefer Babich, and the price point just happens to be lower.

          However, I also agree that Sauvignon blanc does not seem to go very well with the menu described.

          1. re: ChefJune

            I haven't had the Babich, never heard of it before. My first thought was, wow, Croatian wines have made their way to Texas?

            I'd be happy with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with fried oysters and shrimp and grits. I don't think it would clash with ribs or quail, though personally I'd prefer red.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              David Babich is a native Kiwi. And By the way, he also makes some tasty Pinot Noir. :)

              1. re: ChefJune

                His grandfather, the founder, was from a part of Dalmatia that's now in Croatia, where there's an indigenous grape variety of the same name.

            1. re: Bigjim68

              My everyday white is Sauvignon Republic, which is quite similar to the Crawford but $8 a bottle at Trader Joe's.