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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Home Wine Making – 5 Things You Ought to Know

Did you know there are almost 3000 vineyards in the US, with at least one winery in every state? Most US wine production occurs in the west, with the states of California, Washington and Oregon leading the way. In fact, Californian production alone is more than double of the production of the entire country of Australia.

With that having been said it’s easily understandable as to why so many Americans have begun bottling their own homemade wine. Being from upstate NY, one of America’s oldest commercial wine regions, I can safely say that homemade wine making requires hardly any intensive labor. Rather, the ease of home wine making is more or less equivalent to the benefits. It makes you wonder why everybody isn’t doing it.

If you yourself are considering becoming a home wine maker here are several things you ought to know about the process before you get started.

1)      First of all, making wine is ultimately a simple chemical process, using the natural process of fermentation to turn fruit juice into alcohol. Most people are drawn to it as a hobby because it allows you to experiment and be free with recipes.

2)      Home wine making is not at all intrusive. In fact, you can manage quite well even in a small 10 X 10 foot kitchen, and the equipment is easily stored away.

3)      A basic wine making equipment kit will cost approximately $100 to $140, and be used respectively. This means that home wine making is considerably cost effective, especially when you consider the difference between making it and purchasing expensive commercial bottles.

4)      Ingredient kits can cost $60 to $150, putting your cost per bottle in the $2 to $5 range. This means you’ll be able to present customers or friends at weddings, birthday parties or holiday events with high quality, delicious wine that’s personalized and economical.

5)      The  total time you’ll spend from starting a batch to carefully putting the last drop into the bottle will be approximately 4-5 hours, spread over a one month period. So it’s a fun hobby that won’t eat up most of your life but will still result in a fruitful award! Pun very much intended.

There you have it. Wine making can be a very fun, rewarding process that’s totally cost effective and non-time consuming. If you’re thinking about investing in the hobby you might want to begin researching kits and ingredients, as well as branding labels for afterward. In fact, the type of wine label you choose to brand your first batch with can make all the difference. Most professional wine brewers nitpick over their labels for this very reason: the label on the outside reflects the wine inside! So be sure to think about what you want.

A variety of expertly designed, affordable wine bottle labels can be found here at Labels on the Fly.

Good luck on beginning your new, fun hobby and stay tuned for more wine making tips and recipes!