Wedding Wine Making

Making Your Own Wedding Wine

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Collection
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Do you fancy yourself a wine master or sommelier? Even if you don't know much about wine, making wine to serve at your wedding is a fairly easy task and will save you a bundle on the bar tab.

It is a proven fact that at most weddings between 30% and 50% of guests will drink white wine, between 30% and 50% will drink red wine and between 10% and 20% will drink blush wine or white zinfandel. Making several types of homemade wines can offer guests a good selection, without costing you a fortune.

Making wine from scratch (from fermented, crushed grapes) can take up to 1 year and requires the use of heavy-duty winemaking equipment. But beginner wine makers should look to wine kits, which cost between $50 and $100, and make about 6 gallons or 30 bottles of wine. Making wine from a wine kit requires minimal equipment and can be done right in your home or at a wine making store.

When choosing a wine for your wedding, keep in mind that white wines can be opened for drinking earlier, while reds taste better as they age. All homemade wines from wine kits will taste better after a few months in the bottle. So depending on the type of wine you choose it can take between 2 months to 1 year for your wedding wine to mature.

If you choose to make your wine from a wine making kit, the store you rent your supplies from should supply all of your wine making equipment. However, you may have to supply your own wine bottles and corks for your finished wine, although some wine making stores will include corks and bottles in a package deal.

When bottling your home made wedding wine consider bottling red wines in dark amber or green bottles, as reds are sensitive to light and clear bottles allow too much light exposure. Clear bottles are perfectly fine for bottling white wines. Buying cheap corks is also out of the question and natural, high quality corks will produce the best tasting wines. Both red and white wines should be stored in a cool, dark place until they are ready for drinking.

Another way to personalize your day is to make your own wine labels with your names and your wedding date. There are many computer software wine label makers to make it easy or simply make a label out of nice paper and tie it around the wine bottles neck with raffia. Guests often like to take the empty bottles home to put candles in.

One thing to check with the wedding venue and/or caterers is if there is a corkage fee. On average fees can be between $12 - $20 per bottle, but you can usually get this fee waived if you "barter" (and they want your business) in advance.

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