I am often reminded that for the newly engaged, getting married is like a crash course in weddings; there's a steep learning-curve, lots of facts and hopefully an A+ on the final. One of the many pieces you are suddenly expected to be in expert in is wine. You can always take the advice of your caterer, but this is one of the areas where a little knowledge can go a long way (and also proves to be useful long after the big day).
I've studied wine by drinking seriously for years. I know what I like and I often think that's enough. However, a clear, focused, realistic and fun education can help you make educated choices that are within budget, perfect for your cuisine, and can even reflect your love of a culture or region.
We've recently been working with Pour Wines, a retail store on Manhattan's upper west side and online. They've created an amazing Internet-based food and wine pairing tool where you can find suggestions based on actual food being served, cuisine or type of wine. The service suggests pairings, gives price and more options for deeper research. Pour's Certified Sommelier can provide more options or, in store, you can use the easy color-coding that provides educational information on the wine and detailed food pairing and preparation guides.
If your wine is already decided, how about these fun ideas by Pour:
A Wine Sommelier at your wedding. Rather than an open bar, have a Sommelier pour your selecctions and chat about them with your guests. Educational and fun. (If you eliminate the hard alcohol this is also a great way to save money.)
Gift Registry. Register for the favorite wines you've been learning about. A great way to start your own cellar.
Gifts for the Wedding Party. I love the idea of one or a few special bottles of wine as a gift for your favorite people. Pick one that matures in a year that they can drink on your anniversary!
Wine Class. You pick the location. Learn about wine in general, a specific region (where you are honeymooning?), or a varietal. Great for a bridal shower or a gift registry gift.Whatever you choose, have fun with the wine at your wedding and write down the vintage so you can share a glass with your partner in the years to come.