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Wines for Your Wedding: A Guide to What Type of Wines to Drink on the Special Day

A Guide to your favorite Wines on your Wedding Day

We were recently contacted by the beautiful Bel Vino Winery in Temecula, California wondering if they could post an article on our blog!  What a compliment!  :D The following article was written by Stacey Waldron:

It seems as though most special, large and important events within global society are accented with the drinking of a glass of wine or champagne. Weddings are no different, and in fact some of the best photographs and wedding moments come when guests toast the happy couple with glass in hand. Knowing what type of wine to select for your big day, as well as when to drink it, can be overwhelming amongst all the other wedding details. To assist in selecting the perfect wine for each element of your wedding, the team at Bel Vino Winery is here to help.

Morning Brunch

Not every happy couple decides to have a morning brunch, but for those who do, it is wise to serve an elegant alcoholic beverage such as a mimosa. Mimosas are a traditional morning cocktail that is blended with one part champagne and one part fruit juice. The best juices are served chilled, and conventionally, are citrus in flavor such as orange juice (the most common type of mimosa) or grapefruit. Non citrus juices are also used and those usually are peach juice (this is known as a Bellini), mango juice and kiwi-strawberry juice. For a less alcoholic version, most bar tenders will suggest two parts juice to one part champagne or sparkling wine.

mimosa bar with a variety of fruit juices

For a truly creative and memorable morning brunch, a bride may want to consider having a mimosa bar. You may feature bottles of champagne with a variety of fruit juices and let your guests decide exactly what juice flavor they would enjoy most. Add a complimentary accent such as fresh fruit and your guests will be amazed at how delicious your mimosas look and taste.

The Cocktail Hour

After becoming Mr. and Mrs., most couples will break for what is commonly called a Cocktail Hour. During this hour, family photos are usually taken and non-familial guests are entertained with signature cocktail service and music. Not all drinks during the cocktail hour need to be alcoholic beverages (hot chocolate in the winter anyone?) but if you want to serve alcohol at this time in your wedding, we suggest serving a signature wine cocktail. Wine cocktails add elegance, grace, and fun to this hour of your wedding day and provide a variety of flavors that may compliment the hors d’ ouevres you’ve selected to serve as means of tiding guests over until dinner.

cocktail hour signature cocktail mulled wine


signature wine cocktail with lemon

Wine cocktails can also set the tone for the remainder of your big event by having fun and color matching, as well as flavorful accents such as a curled orange peel or mint leaf on the rim (classic, elegant weddings), sprigs of rosemary or lemon sitting in the drink (rustic and country chic weddings), lavender flowers floating in the liquor (outdoor, summer weddings) or a cinnamon stick placed on the glass as a flavorful swizzle stick (winter/fall weddings.)

Dinner and Toasts

Depending on the extravagance of a wedding dinner, some couples will decide to serve a fresh glass of paired wine with each course, while others will opt for a single wine that pairs well with most of the items being served. Discuss your options with the caterer or venue and they can help you decide which wines will pair best with your food choices. For example, if you are having your wedding at a winery, the staff will be very knowledgeable about what house wines will compliment your food choices. For a beginner’s overview of wine pairing with wedding food, Wine Folly has created a great graphic which showcases what basic food flavors fit well basic wines aromas and tastes.

toast to the bride and groom at dinner

Most couples select champagne as their wedding toast drink and while there are other sparkling wine options available, champagne for the toasts is traditional and classic.

The Reception and Dessert Service

After the toasts and wedding dinner have been completed, the wedding transitions into the reception. Often, this is the time when the First Dances take place, (bride and groom, daughter and father, son and mother) and when guests eat delicious desserts such as wedding cake. This is traditionally a time when the open bar begins to serve guests beer, wine or high-end liquors but the prepared couple will serve wines that balance the sweet desserts or add wines as part of the dessert presentation. Rieslings, sauternes and other dessert wines will go well here as well as sparkling wines.

Wines for Your Wedding

We hope we have been able to assist in finding the perfect wine for each element of your wedding, and we wish you and your guests a wonderful wedding day.

About the Author

Stacey Waldron is the Internet Marketing Director for Bel Vino Winery located in Temecula California. She enjoys gardening and playing with her two dogs, Banjo and Karly, on hot summer days and always makes time for a good bottle of red wine shared amongst friends.

Image Credits:

Mimosa Bar Photo Credit –

Cinnamon Wine Cocktail-

Rosemary Sparkler and Wine Cocktail –

Blood Orange Wine Cocktail-

Wedding Toast-

Wine Glasses-

Contact Us!

We hope to photograph your wedding at Bel Vino Winery in California!  If you are interested in Corlis and Megan Gray photographing your wedding, please contact us via email: or phone: 630-800-7582!  We hope to hear from you! :D

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