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Louise Roe Sips and Spills on Wedding Wines

The TV host, fashion blogger, author of lifestyle guide Front Roe, and bride-to-be shares the scoop on how to taste and choose your big day vino!

I can't believe it's less than two months until my big day! With the wedding approaching fast, and having had the food tasting recently (more on that in a future post!), Mackenzie and I sat down to taste some wines. Whilst it's crucial the wines complement the food, we also wanted to make sure we loved the wines on offer ourselves! I love my rich reds and dry rosés, and Mackenzie prefers a crisp white. Trying out different blends—and some bubblies-was a really fun process. We learned a lot, and I'm sharing my cheat's guide to wedding wine, below!

5 Tips for Tasting Wine Like a Pro

  1. Swirl the wine in your glass by holding the stem and moving your wrist in a circular motion.
  2. Smell the wine, and don't be afraid to get really into it. Stick your whole nose in the glass, and try to pick out aromas. What fruits do you smell? Are there earthy undertones? Can you detect notes such as cedar that might indicate how the wine was aged?
  3. When you take a sip, inhale a small amount of air with the wine. This is called "percolating," and it'll help reveal everything about the wine's palate: flavors, tannins, body, etc.
  4. Pay attention to how the wine feels in your mouth, as well as to how it tastes. Is it light? Weighty? Fruit-forward? More savory? Does it dry out your mouth? Is there a lack of balance?
  5. Be confident. This is so important! Wine is subjective, so technically no one can tell you that you don't smell strawberry Pop-Tarts if you're convinced you do. Oh, and don't take it too seriously. Above all, wine tasting should be fun!

5 Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Wines

1. Make sure you have enough! If you're only serving wine and beer, you'll want to stock your bar with about 75% wine and 25% beer. If you're going for a full bar including other liquors, opt for stocking closer to 50% wine.

2. Don't break the bank. Weddings are expensive enough as it is, and there are plenty of exceptional bottles out there for under $15. Look for something that's delicious while offering a great value (like Winc, where we sampled from!). You don't need to empty your savings for excellent wine. What matters is that you love the taste of it, and that you're offering a variety of flavors to your guests.

3. Consider the season and time of day. Red versus white versus sparkling: the right balance is heavily dependent on the weather and atmosphere at your wedding. Beach wedding? Rosé and Prosecco (which is a fantastic alternative to Champagne) are a great idea. Rural wedding in the spring or summer? A crisp white will be super popular. Winter wedding in a cozy pub or ornate castle? Lean toward the heavier reds.

4. Make sure you have a way to chill your whites. The white wines should of course be chilled by the time your guests arrive. Pop them in a fridge if you have the space and keep them on ice throughout the festivities. Alternatively, chill them on ice at the venue for at least an hour before the reception starts. Just make sure you have enough ice to keep everything cold—and don't be tempted to add ice cubes to your glass—this alters the flavor in a negative way. And it might sound obvious, but never chill the red! Airlines do that all the time and it really ruins the flavor. If possible, open reds half an hour or so before being poured, to let them "breathe."

5. Try before you buy! You obviously want to serve wine your guests will enjoy, so it's imperative that you take the time to taste before putting in a large order. Most good vendors and certainly vineyards will offer tastings, and it's good to bring along similar food to what you will be eating on the day, to see how they both mix. We knew we would be having Mediterranean flavors at our wedding, so we added a cheese and meat board from Lady & Larder when we went to our tasting. The combination of food with your wine is super important, so keep that in mind when sipping.

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