Celebration can mean wine and spirits to toast the occasion

From staff reports

Weddings are joyous occasions, and celebrating the union of a man and woman often calls for a toast with wine, beer or spirits. Providing the wine and spirits for the wedding reception can be expensive, unpredictable and time-consuming.

If the couple is allowed to provide their own wine and bar, the results can be a tailor-made event that keeps everyone happy and in budget, said Joe Creaseman, manager of The Reserve in Alcoa.

“Checking with the venue is the first order of business, said Creaseman. “Of course, before a couple plans on having alcohol, they should check with the venue. Some venues allow the couple to purchase the alcohol and bring it to the reception site, while other places ask that the beverages to be purchased from them.”

The next step is finding the right combinations of beverages to match the reception or rehearsal dinner food. “Some people get wound up with the wedding planning, but we reassure them that we can take care of it,” Creaseman said of handling the wine and liquor. Receptions that serve finger foods usually mean that wine will be best to be offered. Creaseman said it is usually a good idea to feature three wines, a White Zinfandel, a chardonnay and either a merlot or a cabernet sauvignon. “That way you cover your bases.”

Darrell Tipton of Topside Wine and Spirits agreed. “When a bridal couple is planning a reception or rehearsal dinner, they are usually more concerned with what wines they will have to enhance what they are serving. We have a wine manager, Suzanne Brown, who has over 10 years of experience in the wine field and she can work with bridal couples to help them make a selection that will complement the items on the menu. That’s important, to be able to match up a wine with other foods.”

For those special occasions leading up the wedding, Tipton suggested choosing a special wine or champagne from the store’s “Red Room,” which is the room where special wines are kept.

Joe Anderson at Wine and Spirits Cellar wants bridal couples to be comfortable no matter what price range they are looking at for their reception, parties or dinners.

“We are the largest store in the county for a reason,” said Anderson. “I carry every brand in every size so I have a wide price range -- from $2 a bottle to $600 a bottle. I can adapt to any budget.”

Ed Forton, manager at Creekside Fine Wine and Spirits, agrees that keeping in their budget should be primary for the happy couple.

“One thing we’re trying to do is bring affordable, good wines to everybody,” said Forton. “We want people to realize we’re the destination for good value wine, as well as world class wines.”

Forton has an event coordinator “on payroll,” he said, to help with large functions, weddings, bachelor parties. Our staff is very knowledgeable and eager to help. For us, it’s just a matter of taking care of the customer when they walk through the front door,” Forton said.

To contact:

• The Reserve: 2025 E. Hunt Rd. in the Food Lion Shopping Center. Call 865-984-9463.

• Creekside Fine Wine and Spirits, 2017 E. Broadway:, 865-380-4045.

• The Wine and Spirits Cellar, 1781 W. Broadway, 865-983-9330:

• Topside Wine and Spirits, Topside Road, 865-982-4500;

• Brown’s Creek Wine and Spirits, 1701 E. Lamar Alexander Pkw., 865-380-0589.

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