We are delighted to have teamed up with Marlo Wine, who deliver fine wine by the bottle and demystify the somewhat puzzling world of wine. With over ten years of experience in the wine trade, you can trust their advice. Join us as co-founder Pip Dawes answers some of your most asked questions when it comes to choosing wine for your wedding list. So, pour yourself a glass of your favourite (for inspirational purposes, of course) and read on!
The honest answer is just one, but who doesn’t love the ceremony of drinking champagne from elegant flutes or beautiful coupes? Enormous bowl-shaped glasses are hugely popular for wines such as red burgundy, whilst smaller glassware has traditionally been used for white wines and lighter reds.
It is believed that a larger glass ultimately helps to enhance the flavour of a red wine, a bigger surface area allows the wine more contact with the air which helps to release all of the aromatics. Whereas white wines are naturally more aromatic, so they don’t need as much contact with the air. Typically they are served chilled, therefore you will want to keep the wine bottle on ice and top up the glasses regularly, instead of letting them get warm in the glass.
Fabulous glasses not only heighten your enjoyment of the wines and overall experience of the occasion, they also look beautiful when dressing a table. Then there’s the practical perspective; having more than one set of glasses saves any frantic washing up between courses. But if space is an issue then opt for one really great all-rounder, and get lots of them to account for any breakages!
Aside from your red and white wine glasses, investing in a set of beautiful liqueur glasses is always a good idea, either for port or something more exotic. Sherry is growing in popularity once again, so dust off granny’s glasses and get trying the new wave of wines!
Who doesn’t love to drink champagne out of a flute or delicate vintage coupe? It seriously adds to the feeling of celebration, a flute is designed to retain the bubbles due to the small, slender surface area, a coupe is not so great for those bubbles, but drink your fizz fast enough and you won’t notice!
Traditionally however, for seriously good champagne it is believed that a flute can inhibit the aromatics and in this instance the champagne should be treated as a white wine and served in a traditional white wine glass.
The purpose of decanting wine is two-fold; for younger wines you are looking to aerate the wine and wake it up, whereas for older wines the aim is to separate any sediment that may be in the bottle. With this in mind, a wider decanter with a bigger surface area is ideal for younger reds, whereas a taller, narrower decanter is better for older wines, as in this instance too much contact with the air can be detrimental.
When starting out on your wine journey it is important to try as many different styles of wine as possible to establish what you really like and what you are not fussed about, because ultimately you want to collect wines that you enjoy. It helps to make a note of what you have liked, the grapes and the region and explore variations, remembering that different vintages of the same wines can be hugely different. It is worth considering buying cases of your favourite wines on release ‘En Primeur’ (buying wine whilst it is still in barrel, before being bottled) which will allow you to follow how the wine develops over the years by enjoying bottles as the wine ages.
Champagne is always a good place to start a wine collection, it is great to have some top level champagnes on hand to pop on special occasions and in many instances they can be aged for years.
In general you should keep your wines lying down in a rack, out of direct sunlight and somewhere that the temperature is consistent all year round. For those of us not lucky enough to have a cellar at home then a wine fridge is an easy solution, and can store whites and reds at the optimum temperatures ready for drinking.
If you are looking to age wine or grow your collection then lots of merchants offer storage in bonded warehouses, where your wine is kept in optimum conditions until you ready to drink it.
From experience it is probably wise to do both! Get a set of incredibly beautiful glasses that you would never buy for yourself and will covet forever. Keep these safely stowed away from family and friends who cannot be trusted! Then bring out your trusty, easily replaceable glasses for these visitors.
A decent set of all-round glasses; something that brings you joy when you pop that cork on a Friday night after a tough week! And of course, a trusty ‘waiter’s friend’ corkscrew, it will never let you down!