Gladiator Wine Blog

How to Choose a Quality Italian Wine for Your Event | Part 3 of 3

Written and Produced by Tony Margiotta

The following are examples of how to actually select a wine for your special event. If you missed Part 1 of this series, Click Here. These are quick tips that I’d like you to think about. You may find that considering one tip will do, however, a combination of tips is possible.

  • Choose both a red and white wine; if your budget only allows one, choose the one that pairs best with the main course
  • Choose based on the season; if it’s summer, light/medium body whites and light reds. If it’s winter, fully body whites and medium/full reds.
  • The more complex the main entree, the more complex the wine. The more ingredients in the entree, the more complex the dish so you’ll need an equally complex wine to balance it. For example, Chef Arden’s Lamb Tagine was loaded with tons of flavors and spices. It needed a full body Perricone red wine that was equally loaded with body, texture, and flavors.
  • Choose a regional wine/food pairing. If the main course is Italian, choose an Italian wine. If the main course is a traditional Sicilian dish, an indigenous wine from Sicily will do.
  • White meats can be paired with both white wines and light reds.
  • Dark meats can be paired with a full body white wine or medium/full body reds.
  • White fish can be paired with light/medium whites.
  • “Meatier” fish like tuna steak or salmon can be paired with medium/full body whites or light reds.

Wine Categories

Selecting a wine for your event can be overwhelming. So I’ve categorized the different types of wines based on body. We’re only looking at Italian wines so I’ve already eliminated thousands of wines for your event.

Light Body Whites  

Pinot Grigio                              

Medium Body Whites

Full Body Whites

Fiano di Avellino
Vermentino di San Gimigniano

Light Body Reds


Medium Body Reds

Nero d’Avola
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Full Body Reds




Small Wine Tip: Small Wine Producers

If you’re reading this article, you’re not interested in having generic wines at your event. It’s best to choose a winery that produces small batches of wine. Small producers are known for making higher quality wines. Large corporation wineries tend to put additives in their wine such as enzymes, artificial flavors, and added sulfites. They have to do that because they produces millions of bottles a year and need to create consistency in the wine. Look for small producers that make between 5,000 and 500,000 bottles per year.

The small artisanal producer doesn’t need to perform any artificial tricks because the small production allows the winemaker to manage quality control. Check out Slow Wine, an Italian journal dedicated to the organic and sustainable agriculture movement in winemaking. There will be tons of small producers in that book to help you filter your choices.

Time For The Event!

So, there are no more reasons for cheap wine at your event. I’ve given you every reason to go the specialized route and no excuses to ignore me. A special wine for a special day. Cheers!

About Purslane Catering

Purslane Catering is brought to you by the team behind Rucola in partnership with Gowanus Hospitality Group. Our food is ingredient-driven, with a farm-to-table ethos and a vegetable focused menu. We are committed to sourcing seasonally and locally, and our primary mission is to provide food that is delicious, sustainable and beautifully executed. We serve the New York metropolitan area and beyond.

About Ashley M Chamblin 

Ashley M Chamblin is a Brooklyn based event planner and designer servicing New York City and the outer boroughs. Ashley specializes in creating unique and personal experiences for all kinds of events including weddings, fundraisers, birthday parties, etc. All contracts are customized to fit the needs of the client and Ashley works to showcase each individuals sense of style and personality. “Together let’s make it about you!”


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