Breweries, Wine, and Cheese Lifestyle

Selecting the Perfect Wines for Wedding Festivities

Catering service waiter holding a tray with Glasses of Wine Prosecco and Champagne for tasting.

By Gina Trippi

Most brides know that they will need wine at their wedding. But if you’re not a wine connoisseur, selecting unique yet affordable wines can be challenging. The bottom line is that a good wedding wine pairs well with your menu and has the quality you want while fitting within your budget. This article is addressed to whoever is choosing the wines for the wedding. You will need to answer many more questions than you might have imagined.

Our wedding consultant at Metro Wines, Kristen Calloway, says the most requested wine without regard to time of year or menu is a California Cabernet. This highlights two main pitfalls for selecting wedding wines. First, a big, bold California Cabernet can easily overwhelm a multitude of flavors. And next, such a choice without factoring in other considerations violates what Kristen considers the golden rule of wine selection, that is, to the extent you can, know your guests! Simply put, don’t just choose a heavy Cabernet just because you like it; think about what would please most people under the circumstances.

Circumstances include the season. The weather may influence your menu and, as such, your choice in wines. At fall or winter weddings, a hearty meal paired with a red wine like that California Cabernet, Syrah or Tempranillo would be appropriate. For spring, consider lighter wines with less or no oak work. And for a summer wedding, particularly outdoors, choose a white, rosé or light red.

Next, consider pairing wines to your particular menu. Spicy food and sweet barbeque require totally different pairings. And although both dishes are light, crab is a long way from a fruit salad! Finally, if you are giving guests a choice of entrée, that necessarily requires wine options as well.

Once you finalize the wine selections, the next question is how many bottles do you need? Running out of alcohol is a party crasher. To ensure that doesn’t happen, consider the guest count, the duration of the reception and whether you are serving other alcoholic beverages.

Whether you are serving just wine; wine and beer; or wine, beer and cocktails is a factor in determining the bottom line. And then, how much white wine to red wine? How many glasses of wine in a bottle? With beer, you must decide whether to offer kegs, bottles or cans of beer. Is there someone on the guest list that would prefer non-alcoholic drinks?

And you will need sparkling for toasts. Do you want a special sparkling for the couple with a more—let’s just be honest here—economical choice for guests?

Enough already! Too many questions! Too many opinions. “Too many cooks in the kitchen,” says Kristen. Choose the decision maker—the bride, the couple, the parents or Uncle Larry the sommelier. Pick one. Then call Kristen at Metro Wines (828.575.9525). She has paired, counted and calculated for hundreds of weddings to rave reviews. Take this task off your list and put it in the hands of an experienced professional.

Gina Trippi is the co-owner of Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville. Committed to the community, Metro Wines offers big-shop selection with small-shop service. Gina can be reached at or 828.575.9525.

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