Champagne and Wine

The Basics of Picking Great Wedding Champagne and Wine

By Nina Callaway

Wondering which champagnes and wines to serve at your wedding? Don’t know how much of each you’ll need? Here are the basics that you’ll need to know to get the perfect mix at your big day.

You may already have a Champagne or wine that you love – something that the two of you drank on a favorite date, or a Champagne that your parents drank at their wedding. If you don’t, there are many helpful sites to Champagne and wine on the net, including wine.about.com. Your caterer will most likely have recommendations for you and will help you figure out how much wine you’ll need for the amount of people you’re having. At most parties, approximately 30-50% will drink white wine (mostly Chardonnay), 30-50% will drink red wine (mostly cabernet), and about 10 to 20% will drink white zinfandel. You’ll want to consider your crowd: more women usually mean more white wine drinkers, more men mean more red wine. I work with a lot of theater crowds which are heavy beer and red wine drinkers.

You’ll also want to consider what entree you are serving. Sauvignon Blanc goes with a wide variety of seafood entrees, as well as poultry and cheeses, and is the best option for pasta with a cream sauce. Chardonnay is a widely popular white that works well with chicken, pork and many seafood dishes.

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Wine Kits and Labels

all beverageHome wine making is considered an artistic, creative hobby and is enjoyed by a large number of today’s society.

This is partially because both kits and ingredients are inexpensive. However, if you’re looking to save money you can always create your own kit from readily available products. Here are the various items you’ll need to purchase in order to build your own wine making kit.

1)      Purchase a large jug of bottled water, a 5 to 7 gallon size. This will become your fermenting vessel.

2)      You should try to buy a large amount of unsweetened, white grape juice frozen concentrate. You’re looking for enough to make four gallons of juice.

3)      A tube of clear silicone caulking and 2 three foot lengths of aquarium tubing, one for your airlock, the other for siphoning off your home brew.

4)      The only thing you will need to purchase once you have your kit ready is wine yeast. While bread yeast in readily available in a pinch, wine yeast is highly recommended as it tend to make a far superior wine.

When you get home, remove the lid from the water jug. Place a dishtowel or other cloth over the jug opening. Drill a hole in the center of the jug that will allow you to insert one end of the tubing snugly. You want to keep the hole as close as possible to the diameter of the tubing.

Insert the tubing until you have at least two to three inches inside the cap. Apply silicone around the tubing on the inside and outside of the cap and let dry overnight. You have now made your airlock and bung.

Now that you have your brewing equipment ready to go you can begin making wine. Directions can be found here.

Once your wine is finished you can now think about branding and labeling.

Many wine bottles have two labels, the front label (which gives the name of the wine and is meant to grab the consumer’s attention), and the back label (which can include the more useful information, like total acidity and pH level). A variety of uniquely shaped wine bottle labels and hang tags designed to make your wine perfect for holiday get-togethers, wedding gifts and other special occasions can be found at Labels on the Fly.