Italian Wines for your Wedding

Wedding toast Wedding toast

Non c'e' matrimonio senza brindisi e "cin-cin", e non c'e' brindisi senza vino o spumante. Ma chi sceglie lo spumante giusto? Molti, troppi matrimoni vengono pianificati senza abbastanza attenzione alla scelta dei vini. Un buon vino puo' davvero fare la differenza ed accompagnare un piatto al meglio. Ogni vino ha il suo posto nel menu' e non tutti sanno come abbinare correttamente un vino ad un piatto od ad un momento di celebrazione. Di seguito abbiamo delle eccelenti informazioni e consigli su come scegliere i vini piu' adatti per il vostro matrimonio o banchetto!

Matrimoni sono un grande affare! Weddings are a big deal! With all the planning and decisions to be made surrounding a wedding day celebration, the wines are many times left to the caterer and/or not thought about at all. I've had many conversations with couples who regret leaving this choice to others because they find they often pay much more than they needed to for the quality of the wines that are typically served for their special day. So how can we clarify and maybe simplify the decision making process? It starts as all things; include the wine in the planning…so here is a bit of help if you are planning a wedding in 2011 and beyond.

I think the easiest way to do this is to include wine in the food planning. In preparing the menu, have you included wine as part of the dinner and if so, is it included in your budget? In almost every Italian American household I know, wine is part of the meal, so I recommend treating it the same for your wedding celebration too. So here are some recommendations for including Italian wines:


  • Unless you are a wine expert, trust what you taste. So make sure your wine supplier allows for you to taste their recommendations.
  • Find out if you can bring your own wine in to your reception venue. If you can, you will pay no more than retail for your wines. Many venues do not allow this, but always ask.
  • If your venue requires you to purchase their wines, you still can influence which wines you will want for your celebration.
  • How much wine and where? Wine at the bar or wine at the tables? Decide if you will offer an open bar and if so, limit the pours to no more than 2.5 to 3 oz. If you are buying the wine by the bottle from the venue, they might prefer big pours and it's more costly for you!
  • It is a nice touch to have a bottle of red and white at each table, but I prefer this only when you can bring the wine in yourselves.
  • Time of day and time of year are important to consider as well. An outdoor summer wedding will tend towards lighter white wines or dry rosé to a very light red, while cooler temps offer more opportunity for reds.
  • Sparkling for the whole gang? Decide whether everyone will participate in a champagne toast, or will it just be the wedding party. On average, most guests will drink 2 glasses of champagne during the toast, so figure this in when doing your budget.

So what if you want all Italian wines for your wedding? My recommendation is to serve Italian wines that are fruit forward, easy to drink and most important, ones you would serve family and friends at your home! Whether the wines are served from the bar or at the table, you cannot go wrong with the following style of wines:

Whites: Wines from central Italy, including Abruzzo, Molise, Umbria and even Tuscany will often feature blends that include the Trebbiano grape. These wines are light enough to be enjoyed with a fairly broad selection of foods, ranging from appetizers to lightly flavored pastas.

Reds: Start again from a central Italian grape, Montepulciano and it is best represented in Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. While my family comes from Apulia and I love the Apulian wines, it is still easy to recommend the wines from Abruzzo. Most of these are soft tannins and very friendly with most meats and pasta that would accompany a famiglia Italiana wedding.

Rosato: Never underestimate a good Rosato for body, flavor and price. I'm not talking about White Zin, but a nice crisp, fruity, but dry Rosato. Rosato of Sangiovese or Montepulciano is a good choice and is worth exploring for satisfying the White Zin crowd… your guests can even put an ice cube in it!

Champagne Toast: French champagne at a famiglia Italiana wedding? Not if I have to say something about it! Now understand I love French wines and especially champagne. I love wines from the world over, but for this conversation, let me tell you I recommend either a Prosecco, the sparkling wine from the Veneto for your value alternative to true champagne. On the other hand, for a wine that meets traditional champagne head on I recommend a Franciacorta sparkling wine from Lombardy with DOCG status. This wine comes from the lake districts of Lombardy and is produced in the same method as champagne.

As always, your wine shop specializing in Italian wines is a good place to start to get introduced to these wonderful celebration wines. Salute and a most blessed marriage to you!

Peter Apicella
Feren Gift Baskets & Wine
440-946-4180 / 800-551-2101