How to Select a Wine List for Your Special Event
By Maggie Harnett, Tasting Room Manager

Whether you’re hosting an intimate gathering or grand affair, let the party planning begin! Among the countless details that go into planning a special event, don’t forget to pick the perfect wines. Itwill add a very personal, thoughtful touch to any occasion. And keep in mind; choosing wines for your celebration does not have to be a daunting task. Turn it into a relaxing afternoon by sampling your favorites, as well as some varieties that may be new to you.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself as you make your selections:

Which season does our special event fall in? If you’re celebrating in late spring or summertime, consider white wines like Chardonnay or Pinot Gris. They are delicate, with fruity character.

Merlot and Cabernet are richer, more complex wines with aromas of plum and spice. They can help warm up winter festivities with their robust flavors. Greenvale’s Cabernet Franc is delicious with a salmon or swordfish with a spicy sauce.

What are we serving for food? Wine pairing is a detail that can make your special occasion all the more memorable. Guests may not recall you offering a buttery Chardonnay alongside seared sea scallops or herb and garlic marinated chicken. They may not be able to pinpoint the Cabernet you paired with a roasted petite filet. But the combinations will sing, and leave a lasting impression!

As a very general rule of thumb, red meat, rich sauces and hearty meals go well with red wine like Merlot and Cabernet. Chicken, seafood, pork and fresh salads pair well with white wines like Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

How can we be sure we’re accommodating everyone? You want to offer your favorites, but also make sure you offer your guests a selection. Not everyone is a red wine person, even if it is a winter celebration and Merlot is your absolute favorite. So make a white wine available to accommodate for different tastes and preferences.

These days people expect a choice during cocktail hour of two whites. A good offering would include a dry white like Greenvale’s Chardonnay Select and a fruit-forward, bright wine like our Vidal Blanc.

The perfect wine pairings will truly add to the uniqueness of your celebration!

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