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Majestic Guides: The wine expert’s guide to wedding food pairings


Category: Majestic Guides

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Majestic Guides: The wine expert’s guide to wedding food pairings



In Short:

Elizabeth Kelly, one of our Masters of Wine, explains how to pair dishes perfectly and serve your guests for as little as £9 per person.


“2023 promises to be a bumper year for nuptials. So I've put together this quick guide to the ultimate wedding drinks list. Choosing wines for a wedding can be difficult. There’s a lot to consider – from food pairings, to the weather. And it’s never been more important to keep an eye on costs too.”
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My advice to any couple tying the knot this year is easy: keep it simple. Planning a wedding can be complicated, but the wine part should be a joy. Here’s how you can keep it fun, delicious and fantastic value as well. 

Find crowd-pleasing winners

If you’re able to plan your own wine list for your wedding, then my big advice is to think about what’s going to please the many, not the few.

Try to avoid too strong or unusual flavours. This can be hard if, like me, you love unusual wines. But generally the bestsellers at Majestic are good options to look at (think New Zealand Sauvignon, Malbec and light, unoaked Chardonnay).


Go off the beaten track for great value

We’d all love to serve big name Bordeaux, Champagne or Burgundy at our weddings. But unfortunately, for the majority, budgets won’t quite stretch that far. 

This is where speaking to one of our in-store experts can really help. They know how to squirrel out a great bargain, and can often find you great alternatives to more prestigious labels. Using a combination of exceptional traditional method sparkling wine (at around £12 a bottle), Southern French or Portuguese white wine (at the £7 mark) and a Spanish Tempranillo or Romanian Pinot Noir (at between £6 - £8), you can give your wedding guests an exceptional drinking experience for as little as £9 per person (based on a glass of each). 

Of course, if you do want to stretch the purse that little bit further, they can help source iconic bottles to help make your day extra special too.

 

Pair for food, and for joy

Wine and food pairing is simple. There’s no hard and fast rules, the aim is that both should just taste that little bit more delicious when enjoyed together. So here are five of the most common wedding foods and some simple pairings: 

  • Baked salmon – a great crowd-pleasing dish. Pair with South African Chenin Blanc, or unoaked Chardonnay 

  • Chicken Francaise – wedding chicken doesn’t have to be uninspiring. So pair with an Italian Gavi or lightly chilled Pinot Noir to give this staple a little lift. 

  • Beef brisket – the richer wedding dish. You’ll want a wine with a bit of body, like a New World Chardonnay or a Tempranillo or Malbec to complement.

  • Goat’s cheese tart – a classic starter or vegetarian option. Sauvignon Blanc is a dream with soft white cheese, so go for the ever excellent New Zealand option or a zesty French Picpoul

  • Wedding cake – the main event. The ideal pairing is a sweet wine, but actually a fruity, sparkling rosé can be a great option for something lighter (and a lot of fun).