How to choose the best wines for your wedding
As told by Liu Tai Shin, wine distributor at Vinsprit
Your wine should complement the food.
‘Generally, your selection of wine depends on the type of cuisine served. Heavily spiced food can kill your taste buds so you may not want to spend too much money on expensive and delicate wines. Menu pairing isn’t entirely necessary for a typical ten-course Chinese dinner, but if you’re having a western dinner, ask the chef for wine recommendations that enhance the dishes.’
Red, white or rosé?
‘For Chinese dinners, go for easy drinking, single varietal new world wines from Australia, Chile or Argentina. These are also good for western dinners but don’t overlook the old world Bordeaux. For cocktail receptions, get a nice white wine like sauvignon blanc or a red pinot noir.
White: For an easy drinking, fresh and fruity white, try the Santa Rita Reserva sauvignon (RM65) blanc from Chile. If you prefer Australian wines, Deep Woods Ivory (RM69) is also a refreshing choice.
Red: The Finca Flichman Misterio Malbec (RM52) is sophisticated with an elegant aftertaste. It goes well with meats with sauces. The well-balanced Pasqua Bardolino DOC (RM52) from Italy is also a good choice and pairs well with light meat dishes, fresh cheese and pasta. The old world wines from Maison Riviere (from RM65+) are also good.
Rosé: Pink wine doesn’t sit well with Chinese courses but as a pre-dinner drink for western weddings, it’s acceptable. Pink champagnes are also in demand – they are sexier and more chic to be served at wedding receptions.’
Liu Tai Shin
Come up with a total.
‘How much to purchase depends on the number of guests and the wine-drinking crowd. Say you have 500 guests for a Chinese wedding dinner: It’s safe to assume that at least 40 to 50 percent of the guests will consume wine. You will need to budget a half bottle per drinking guest. So if 50 percent of 500 pax drinks, that means 125 bottles or about ten cases of 12 bottles. The ratio between white and red is 1/3 white to 2/3 reds. So you can get 40 bottles white and 80 bottles red. For western dinners, the overall order should be almost the same but you may want to add dessert wine or cognac as well.’
Make a checklist before purchase.
‘Always find a reputable importer or distributor. Find out if your guests are wine, beer or whisky drinkers – that would be a good measure as to how much wine you should buy. Decide on your budget and sample the wines before making a purchase. Make sure the restaurant is happy you’re bringing in your own wine and ask if you could waive corkage.’
What to do with leftover wine?
‘Some distributors take back unopened bottles if it has been agreed upon. Wines can’t be kept too long even if you cork it back so use it for cooking. It’s very important during the dinner that there’s someone responsible to ensure the waiters don’t just open every bottle. Just store the bottles in a dark space at a consistent temperature.’ Kong Wai Yeng
Vinsprit Lot 6, Jalan Delima 1/1, Subang Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Shah Alam (03 5638 8260/www.vinsprit.com.my).
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This is part of Time Out KL's guide to weddings.