A vine romance

From people-pleasers to knock-’em-deads, spectacular sommelier Moira Peters has wine pairings that’ll keep your glass completely full.

Kate Hayter

What are some safe people-pleasing wines I can provide on the tables at my reception?
There are two main categories of wine drinkers here on the east coast: “I like dry white wine, but not Chardonnay” and “full-bodied reds, do you have Shiraz.” Appeal to both categories while defying them: For a people-pleasing, sexy white, choose Tawse Sketches Chardonnay from Niagara (biodynamic, $24.40). For a rad red, hop all the way west and go with Sandhill Estate Vineyard’s Cabernet Merlot, out of BC. It’s deep, dark and adorable ($20).

We want to go all out for a champagne toast, what’s something that screams “special”?
I’m seeing snapshots of a wedding toast. People in tuxedos and gowns are laughing and flutes are sizzling with pink bubbling wine. Years later, the people in those photos remember how they felt at that moment, remember little details–like colour–made brilliant by the expression of love that is a wedding. For your special toast, I recommend something that Nova Scotia does best: traditional method sparkling wine. Choose Benjamin Bridge’s Rosé (organic, $44.50) or L’Acadie Vineyards’ Sparkling Rosé (organic, $27).

We have a really locally focussed menu, what local wines should we pair with it?
For a white, choose any Nova Scotian winery’s Tidal Bay–a local blend that best represents Nova Scotia’s unique climate and geology. Tidal Bay’s subtle aromas and balanced acid structure makes it a beautiful accompaniment to seafood and locally-focussed vegetable dishes ($20-$25). For a red wine to pair with local beef, pork and game, I would go with Jost’s Cabernet Franc ($20).

I’m a big wino and want to include wine somehow in our favours—what do you suggest?
Get corkscrews embossed or printed with your names and the date of the wedding, and give them as favours to your guests. Practical and personal, a good corkscrew is cherished. I highly recommend the double-hinge waiter style.

If we want to go beyond just red and white, what would you suggest as a next step?
For the classiest wedding I ever attended, the bride made two non-alcoholic syrups for the bar. One was strawberry basil and the other was cucumber mint. Mixed with soda water, they were a thoughtful alternative to wine and beer, and added a memorable touch.

Moira Peters is an avid wine educator and a dedicated wedding-goer. She runs Unwined, a wine tasting business out of Halifax, and works at Eileanan Brèagha, a vineyard and winery in Cape Breton. Moira is certified by the Sommelier Society of America, is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers–Atlantic Chapter, and has the coolest wine barrel bike trailer this side of the Saint Lawrence. Check out her work at unwinedtastingparties.ca.

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