How to pick the perfect wine for your special day

Sponsored by The English Inn
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 10, 2016

Everyone wants their special day to be perfect. The right flower arraignments, seating and food. But, one way to help enhance the evening and ensure that it all blends together is by selecting the perfect bottle of wine. 

We sat down with Erik Nelson, Managing Partner for The English Inn in Eaton Rapids, for some tips on selecting the right wine. See what he had to say below...

1.  Ask yourself – What do you enjoy? What will your guests enjoy?

"You have to ask yourself, what is going to be a real crowd pleaser? What is your entire group going to enjoy drinking? You don't want to stray too far away into something that's going to be a little too obscure."

2. Base the wine you choose off the menu. 

"Commonly people will pick a chicken preparation or a steak preparation or possibly fish. Then you think about how the dish was prepared. Does it have a rich sauce or does it have a light flavored sauce?

If you have a rich sauce, you might want something that can compliment that nicely. Maybe a wine that's a little bit dryer or bold to stand up to the rich flavors. Or a dish that has a light sauce, you might want to do a wine that is more subtle and crisp in flavor. 

If you are looking for a red wine to compliment a beef preparation with a rich sauce, might want to think about a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Something that is a bold red wine with some tannin.

Another possibility in terms of style of wine, maybe a shiraz, which is rich and spicy. If you had a lighter dish, a chicken with a light sauce, may want to have something like a Pinot Gris. Something light dry and crisp.  
Seafood with a butter caper sauce, a little lemon, perhaps a Sauvignon Blanc. 

With dessert, I enjoy Champagne. Something like a sparking brute, which will be dry and effervescent and complement subtly sweet nicely. Could do something light a Champaign a little sweeter like a demi-sec wine. A touch of sweetness to it on the finish."

3. Think about how many bottles of wine you need to purchase.

"You can expect to get six glasses out of one bottle. And if purchasing wine just for dinner and not served at the cocktail hour, they may want beer or a mixed drink... but if going to purchase just for dinner, plan for 1 to 1.5 glasses per person, and expect six per bottle."

4. Select a wine that fits your budget. 

"At the English inn, we have wines that fit any price point. Bottles that start around 30 and up. If purchasing wines for a large crowd, you don’t want to pick something too extravagant. We always work with people finding something reasonable. And when you get into more expensive wines, they are on allocation. It is hard to get large quantities for anyone."

5. Choose one red and one white.

It's always best to choose one of each, especially for a large crowd. You want to choose a red wine and white wine that you think all guests will enjoy.

The English Inn is located at 677 S. Michigan Rd. in Eaton Rapids, Michigan 48827. For more information on The English Inn, visit

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