Pick the Perfect Wines for your Wedding

So much goes into planning a wedding that it is sometimes easy for matters to fall by the wayside.


With booking a church and hall, buying the rings, arranging the guest list, investing the time and money into a dress, deciding what the wedding party will wear, setting up the music and playlist and determining the menu. Ah, the menu – beef or chicken? Vegetarian options? How many courses? What is for dessert? Fundamental to the wedding menu — indeed, the piece that can tie together the entire menu — is the wines that you choose to set on the table.

“We understand that weddings are expensive, but you don’t want to go too cheap on your wines,” says Marcel Morgenstern, Sommelier and proprietor of Burnt Ship Bay Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. “You spend money on your dress, on the decorations, on the food. You don’t want to simply say, ‘A red and white.’ Pick wines that will match this important occasion.”

Marcel offers the following tips when considering which are the right wines for your wedding.

  • Dry, crisp whites (Pinot Grigio, Unoaked Chardonnay) or something with a slight hint of sweetness (dry Rieslings, Gewuerztraminer-Riesling blends) are great, especially if you have a chicken or fish option. These wines are also great sipping wines.
  • Soft, medium-bodied reds (Cabernet Merlot) are the best choice as a crowd-pleasing food pairing wine. You want them to have enough body to stand up to your prime rib, but not too big so you can sip on them during the rest of the evening.
  • Sparkling wines are always a great way to start the reception and to serve with the cake towards the end of the evening.

If you want to take the selecting of your wedding wine to the next level, Marcel suggests planning a trip to Ontario’s wine country to sample some of the best the province has to offer:

  • Plan to spend some time in the area, so book a hotel room or bed and breakfast. Consider it a pre-wedding retreat for your and your fiancée.
  • Book a professional tour with a company like Niagara Vintage Wine Tours. You will be sampling a lot, and you don’t want to be drinking and driving.
  • Go for variety. Visit several different wineries and taste several different wines. Don’t be afraid to ask winery staff for suggestions – that’s what they are there for.


For more information, please visit www.burntshipbay.com. Keep up to date with all the latest about Burnt Ship Bay wines by joining its Facebook group at www.facebook.com/burntshipbay or liking it on Twitter @burntshipbay.

About Burnt Ship Bay Estate Winery:

Burnt Ship Bay Estate Winery Ltd. is a family-owned business founded by Luciano Puglisi and Marcel Morgenstern in 2013. The winery focuses on producing wines made from estate grown grapes in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The winery drew its name from a little bay in the Upper Niagara River where in 1759, during the Seven Years’ War, it became the final resting place for some treasure-laden French ships. Burnt Ship Bay’s Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Merlot will be available at the LCBO on February 15.