So you’re planning an event. It might be a wedding, a corporate function, or a promotional event. While there are countless websites and consultants to get guidance on how to plan and design an event, I’d like to share with you specifically how to choose the best wine for your event.
I find that many events spend a lot of money on the venue, logistics, decorations, food, open bar, and then cheap wine.
Let’s begin by making the case for selecting the perfect wine for your event:
- A wine that pairs perfectly with your food makes them both taste better than if they were consumed separately. You get a more satisfying dining experience.
- A poor wine choice can actually make the food taste bad.
- A wine with a custom label and bottle shape can add a certain aesthetic quality to your event. Every detail from the table cloths to the bottle-look should express the theme that you’re trying to achieve.
- If the food dishes were chosen for seasonal reasons, so should the wine.
- The wine choice is a small symbol that sends a big message about you, the host, and that you are taking good care of your guests.
The main challenge when speaking about a custom wine for an event is budget. Money is usually the deciding factor. The good news is that there are ways to save money while still enjoying a great wine at your event.
When I spoke with Ashley M Chamblin, a creative event planner and designer about the challenge of budget for a custom wine selection she said, “Don’t think broad, think specialized!” Ashley said that instead of using all of your alcohol budget on a broad selection at the open bar, limit the selections so that there is financial room for fine wine. For instance, choose two specialty cocktails, a high quality wine that pairs perfectly with the meal, and a craft beer selection rather than a full bar of cheap alcohol. Make sure you bring up the topic in case your caterer or venue doesn’t.
Amanda Braddock, a catering consultant and Director of Purslane Catering, also commented on the topic of low budgets for beverages. She said, “Our clients who are more wine-centric have the option to either eliminate spirits or offer just a few selections to lower the bar costs and allocate more money for specialized wine.” Purslane Catering offers several tiers of food and beverage combinations so that clients can put more funds toward a fine wine. Purslane is a specialized catering company that can customize to the needs of their clients. Some companies might not be, so be sure to ask.
Part 2 of this series will go over actual custom food and wine pairings by Chef Arden Lewis of Purslane Catering so that you can see the endless possibilities and impressions that a hand-selected quality wine can have on your event. Read on.