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 Bottle Terrariums

If you make or enjoy wine chances are you’ve got a large number of empty bottles lying around the house, and while there are a variety of different things that can be done with empty wine bottles (recycling, candle-making, bird-feeder construction to name just a few), one way to recycle an empty wine is to turn it into a miniature terrarium.

That’s right. A terrarium.

Terrariums are small containers that provide a high humidity environment for plants that might not otherwise survive very long in your home.

A wine bottle terrarium can make a great gift to friends and family members, and is especially well received as a birthday gift or, even better, a winter holiday gift. Those who won’t be expecting to see such lovely, thriving plant-life in the colder months will be absolutely thrilled to receive such a kind, personalized gift.

The process of making a wine-bottle terrarium is fairly simple and quite cheap, especially since you’re starting out with your own empty wine bottle. Here are the items you’ll need to make your wine bottle terrarium:

  • Glass container (in this case, a wine bottle, although jars and even light bulbs can be used)
  • Activated charcoal (the kind sold at pet shops for aquariums)
  • Pea gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Moisture-loving plants
  • Plant life (you can choose plants of various heights and colors, but they ought to have the same needs and conditions so you can care for them all simultaneously. Moss is a great choice for beginners and is easily found in any backyard or wooded environment.)

Each of the materials should be relatively easy to find and affordable prices. Once you have your materials, you can begin setting up your terrarium.

STEPS

1)      First off, begin by washing your container in hot, soapy water and drying it afterward.

2)      Line the bottom with a thin layer of gravel for drainage.

3)      Place a ½ inch layer of activated charcoal onto the gravel. The charcoal will filter the air.

4)      Add around 1-½ inches of moist, high quality growing medium rich in organic material into the mix

5)      You’re now ready to insert your plants. Trim off any damaged parts, place the plants in the soil using long tweezers or a stick with a wire loop attached to the end, and gently tamp down the soil. Try to keep the leaves from touching the glass to prevent rot.

6)      Mist the inside of your terrarium and let it sit for a day before misting again. Once the water has evaporated off the leaves, you can cover the container.

7)      Make you to stick it in the sun so your plants will thrive.

And that’s all there is to it! You can keep several terrariums in your home or in your office at work, or you can choose to give them away as gifts – even sell them at your local Farmer’s Market. If you do decide to sell or give them away don’t forget to label your products with custom hang tags. A wide variety of excellent, custom wine bottle hang tags and labels can be found at Labels on the Fly.

Stay tuned for more fun wine bottle facts and tips from Custom Wine and Beer Bottles.