By Rebecca Padgettt
The golden hour gleams off of glasses of sipped wines as guests mingle and dance the evening away, everyone flush with the happiness brought forth by good food, good times and exceptional wines. If this sounds like pure wedding day bliss, a wine country wedding may be just your cup of tea — or glass of wine in this case.
The vineyards of California, Italy and France are world-renowned for scenic vistas and the finest wines. You can evoke the very same sensory experience in Northwest Florida through a curated menu, rustic decor and wine galore.
While outdoor ceremonies and receptions best fit this style, the same look and feel can be achieved indoors through decoration details. Wine barrels can be utilized as tables for food, gifts and dining, specifically if you don’t plan on having a seated meal. Set food, desserts and the cake on top of wine crates. Wine crates also can be filled with flowers or greenery.
Wine bottles can be utilized in a variety of ways — use them as vases for flowers, candelabras or table number holders. An interactive idea is to place a bottle of wine on each table, and once the guests have finished it, they sign it with a permanent marker leaving it for the couple. Another guest book idea, is to have each guest sign a cork. The couple can then make a piece of art to decorate their home with as a special keepsake.
For outdoor weddings, create a rustic romantic ambience.
“An al fresco dining setting under bistro string lights creates a glowingly stunning aesthetic for an unforgettable experience,” said Katie Butler, sales manager of Social Catering & Events. “String quartet music flowing in the air sets the stage of the rolling hills of the countryside.”
Wood greenery and naturally occurring florals work best to emphasize the natural beauty of wine country. Consider vines, olive branches, honeysuckle, garden roses and wildflowers. Bunches of grapes look beautiful on tablescapes.
Color palettes should be inspired by the wines. Crimson, burgundy and garnet. Warm and light gold. Blush and subtle pinks. Neutral tones and metallics such as copper, silver and gold pair well with these base colors.
Fill your reclaimed wood farm tables with the freshest in farm-to-table fare. Charcuterie boards piled high with a variety of cheeses, olives, meats, pickled vegetables and crackers are perfect for noshing and sampling with wines. The tables should always be stocked with warm bread and olive oils for dipping. As for the main menu, red wines pair best with beef, lamb, roast chicken or Italian dishes, and white wines welcome seafood, chicken and turkey. A rich chocolate cake adorned with berries seems like the perfect finish.
With the tables set and the food decided, it’s on to the most important matter — the wines.
“Have your caterer help with pairing the right blends for your meal,” said Butler. “For a smaller wedding, a wine and appetizer pairing would be a fun way incorporate the atmosphere of a winery.”
Wine should flow freely throughout the wedding, but consider having a tasting station where guests can sample wines and review a placard with tasting notes and additional information.
You can select your favorite wines from foreign locales or opt for local flavors. Farmer’s Daughter Vineyards is a nationally recognized winery in nearby Pelham, Georgia.
“Our wines are a particularly great way to celebrate because they’re approachable, welcoming, easy to love and unpretentious,” said Renee Moss, co-owner of Farmer’s Daughter Vineyards. “They’re well made, highly awarded premium wines, but they’re also everyday wines, ABVs that meet table wine criteria. They’re fruit forward and fun.”
Moss suggested a white, red and rosé that would complement weddings well. First, there’s the Bombshell, which is a dry, Chardonnay-style wine made from Blanc duBois. Then there’s the Heartbreaker, a bold, dry but extremely smooth, supple even silky, deep red wine with bright berry notes. It won Best of Class from Sonoma. Finally, there is also Sand Angel, which has a Best of Class from the Los Angeles International Wine Competition and is a dry rosé with juicy strawberry notes on the finish.
Wine is a symbol of celebration. Wine is blended to create something unique and distinct, bold and sweet, much like love itself.