GILLY PARKER BRA­ZIER, RESTAU­RANT MAN­AGER AT ECK­ING­TON MANOR, WORCES­TER­SHIRE

Cotswold Life - - COTSWOLD WEDDINGS -

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.

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