The Ultimate Guide to Catering: Wine & Cake Flavors

Your wedding guests may be there to celebrate the love you and your new groom share, but when it really comes down it, what they remember won’t be your exact wedding vows or your first dance song. While those details matter a great deal to you, it’s time to put some of your focus towards the details guests notice: the alcohol and food.

We’ve already shared bar pricing options, delicious appetizer ideas, and how to create the perfect menu, but now we’re focusing on the finer details. Namely, what types of wine to serve and some unexpected wedding cake flavors.

Whether you’re bringing your own wine or sending a list of preferred labels to your caterer, consider these sure-fire hits, curated by Chicago sommelier Fernando Betata.


Fritz Haag Riesling, 2012 or 2013, Mosel, Germany, $24

“This crisp wine has a lightweight-approved 7.5 percent alcohol by volume (most wines are about 12 percent), which means your guests can drink their fill with dinner and still keep their when they hit the dance floor.”

Bourgogne Blanc, Roche de Bellene, Burgundy, France, $19

“White Burgundy from a small producer will usually taste as good as the best bottles from more expensive regions.”

Venica Sauvignon, Collio Friuli, Italy, $25

“The bright citrus fruits, minerality, and acidity of this complex sauvignon blanc make it easy to enjoy.”

See More: 6 Delicious Champagne Cocktail Ideas


Pago Venta la Ossa, Spain, $18-$24

“Sixty-plus-year-old Tempranillo vines deliver concentrated bold flavors that go down smooth.”

Palmina Barbera, Santa Barbara, California, $23

“Originally grown in Italy, this grape is packed with bold, fruit flavor.”

Alain Graillot, Red Crozes-Hermitage, France, $30

“This blend is spicy and elegant. Plus, it’s farmed organically.”

Pro Tip: Wine markups from caterers and venues can be hefty. Hotels usually have the highest hikes, at about three times the price of a liquor store. Caterers usually charge twice the retail cost. Bottom line: Always ask if you can BYOB.

See More: Rules for Choosing the Right Reception Wines

Don’t forget to upgrade your wedding cake, either. Serve these new and unexpected flavor combinations to finish the night on a (sugar) high note.

— Zucchini Spice Cake with Almond Filling

— Banana Cake with Passion-Fruit Filling and White Chocolate Shavings

— Dark-Chocolate Cake with Guinness-infused Ganache and Crushed Pretzels

— Lemon Cake with Basil Buttercream

— Vanilla Cake with Bourbon-Cream-Cheese Frosting and Crushed Toffee

For more great food and drink advice, check out our April/May issue, available on newsstands and for download now!


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