Pairing Wine And Food For Your Wedding

Hog-roasts and food trucks offering fish and chips, candy floss or ice-cream have become very popular at Irish weddings. However, when it comes to the main event, “Beef or salmon?” is the quintessential question which will be asked at many Irish weddings this year.

So how do you pair the ‘right’ food and wine? While most wines will go well with most dishes, with a small bit of thought you really ‘nail it’ when it comes to matching wine and food.

If you prefer to buy wedding wine and bring it to your venue, our managers in Molloys are happy to offer wedding wine advice. You can pop in, but ideally, phone ahead so we can devote plenty of time to help you choose the right wine.

How much wine per head? Allow 2-3 glasses per person, and expect to get 5 glasses per bottle. Generally speaking, white is more popular than red. How much red to white wine? A ratio of 3 white to 2 red is typical.

Our wine-buying team at Molloys, source wine directly from the suppliers, and pass the saving on to our customers. You can rest assured that many of our wines have been highly recommended by wine critics. Also, you won’t find these wines in supermarket shelves, so people will appreciate the effort you’ve gone to.

Here are some thoughts to help guide you choose a perfect wine for your perfect wedding day.

Fish & Wine

Salmon:

A popular wedding choice! Salmon is rich in flavour, as well as having an oily texture. The ideal wine is rich in flavour with round rather than pointed acidity. Chardonnay is a perfect marriage. Even if you don’t like the idea of Chardonnay, try an un-oaked or lighter-bodied style (eg. Macon, Chablis, St. Veran), with salmon, and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Monkfish:

Up there with salmon in terms of weight of flavour (often with the addition of cured ham), but less oily. Again, Chardonnay would be considered the best marriage.

Hake:

Another richly-flavoured fish. A Parma ham or chorizo dressing renders it a perfect fish to pair with red wines as well as white. For whites, rich, lightly oaked Chardonnays suit best.

Seabass:

Seabass is a little lighter in flavour, with salty/seashore flavours, usually brought to life with a citrusy sauce. Pair with a crisp refreshing wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Albarinho. Where you have punchy, herbal and/or spicy dressing, choose a New World Sauvignon Blanc over a French Sauvignon.

When it comes to red wine with fish, lighter-bodied reds, with smooth tannin are the best all-round choices for fish. Pinot Noir, or a mature Rioja are among the top choices.

wedding wines

Great white wines for weddings:

Lembranzas Albariňho Crisp and long; flavours of pear, tropical fruit, peaches and cream. A Berliner Gold medal winner. Albariňho and shellfish is also an excellent pairing, if you are planning a seafood starter.

Domaine Caude Val Sauvignon Blanc Crisp, with flinty, minerally characters, refreshing lemon.

Domaine de la Colline Touraine Sauvignon – best described as a half-way house between Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and a French Sauvignon - crisp & refreshing, balanced by plenty of elderflower, blackcurrant leaf, galia melon, peach and Golden Delicious apple.

Domaine Caude Val Chardonnay -dry with light buttery flavour, intense lime, some light toasty oak and mineral character.
Beauvignac Chardonnay "luscious & buttery chardonnay… an unexpected treat for those who like the more generous, toasty style… a must-have bargain" - Sunday Business Post.

wine with a view

Chicken and Wine

Chicken is usually cooked in a traditional style for weddings (ie. juicy meat with a crisp skin), this works equally well with white and reds. Richer round whites (Chardonnay) work best. In reds, a medium-bodied smooth red like Syrah/Shiraz (including Côtes du Rhône), Merlot or Rioja are the best wines for roast chicken.

Meat and Wine:
Roast beef: Plenty of weight, flavour and texture call out for fuller-bodied red wines, perhaps with noticeable tannin and/or vibrant acidity to cut through the richness. Cabernet Sauvignon (and that includes many Bordeaux), Malbec, Shiraz (including Rhône reds like Châteauneuf- du-Pape, Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône) are super with beef. A word of caution though – try not to serve very high alcohol reds – you want your guests to stay ‘til the wee hours!
Spanish reds (Rioja, Ribera del Duero) are also great wine pairings for beef.

Roast lamb has plenty of weight, flavour and more fat than beef. Where herbs like rosemary or mint are a strong component of the dish, pair lamb with Languedoc reds (Corbières, Minervois, Languedoc), Italian reds like Chianti, or minty Maipo Cabernet or Merlot from Chile. Otherwise, reds for beef work well with lamb.

Pork belly is high on fat, less flavour than beef/lamb, often served with a fruity sauce. If you’ve applesauce, Riesling is a great match. Lighter fruity reds work well, like Côtes du Rhône and Beaujolais.

wine with a view

Great red wines for weddings:
Sancho Garces Rioja Crianza would be a top favourite for meats as well as richer fish dishes, creating a great impression among guests. This wine is drinking beautifully. “Benchmark Rioja with its velvety smooth texture” as the Irish Independent described it.

Ch. Du Farel Côtes du Rhône has peppery, spicy notes lead into ripe red cherry, followed by slightly gamey earthy notes on the finish.

Ch. Du Donjon Minervois is medium-bodied, with layers of flavour (blackcurrant, blueberry, vanilla), and a lovely long spicy finish.

dA Malbec is a French Malbec; "Plummy or cherry red; earthy, peaty, forest floor smells with stewed blackberries, redcurrant and cherry." - Food & Wine magazine

Graves de Barrau Bordeaux “Dark berry fruit nose, well-structured palate, good depth of flavour, nice tannic grip on the finish." - Food & Wine, Jan 2017

Mommesin Cuvée St. Pierre Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied French Pinot Noir, with red cherry and coffee with subtly integrated toasted notes and smooth tannin.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. All wines mentioned here are available in store and online from Molloys.ie. If you are planning a wedding and would like advice on choosing wines we have a no fuss consultation service that takes the stress out of arranging wine for your special day. We also have one of Ireland's biggest ranges of spirit miniature which are quickly becoming the wedding favour of choice for Irish weddings. We even offer discounts on bulk purchases. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

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