GILLY PARKER BRAZIER, RESTAURANT MANAGER AT ECKINGTON MANOR, WORCESTERSHIRE
My top tip is to do what every professional sommelier does every day, choose wines that enhance the food to be eaten; once you have established your ‘perfect marriage’ of grape variety to each dish you can then concentrate on wines to suit your budget. Ask your venue what wines they would pair with your wedding breakfast and don’t be afraid to ask questions - a sommelier’s job is to impart knowledge.
What about the fizz? We all know Champagne is the traditional celebratory choice, but it’s also justifiably expensive due to the production process. If you’re working to a budget, opt for a sparkling wine style that is lighter and easy to drink. There’s a clear movement towards this trend, but it is not just Prosecco that is available. Iberian fizz is a great alternative, Spanish Cava can be both high quality and reasonably priced, along with neighbouring Portugal, where the Baga grape is used in many good-quality traditional method wines.
If you don’t know much about wine pop along to a quality independent wine retailer and ask to speak to the manager. They will be more than willing to talk to you about their wines, just remember to go when it’s quiet.