A Guide to Wedding Wines
A few simple rules to help you get the best bang for your buck:
1) The wines supplied by venues are often supplied as part of a ‘package’ and are therefore bought as cheaply as possible to keep their costs down and maximise profit. As a general rule, you will be able to get a much better wine for around the same price if you are able to supply it yourself (even with the corkage added on top), so it is always worth asking the venue if this is possible.
2) Almost everybody overestimates how much people will drink, so choose a supplier who offers sale or return on any unopened bottles.
3) Fizz is a huge part of the day and is the first thing that most people will drink. Prosecco is by far the most popular fizz of choice because its crisp, fruity, easy drinking style is loved by almost everyone. If you are more a fan of the briochy, appley flavours of champagne, but don’t have the budget it is worth trying either a ‘grower’ champagne (often the same juice just no fancy name) or a really good cava. It is made in the same way as champagne and, if aged for longer than the minimum nine months, can have the same characteristics. This Grand Cuvee Mont Marcal tastes better than many cheaper champagnes and is half the price.
4) In terms of quantity, depending on how long your drinks reception will be, half a bottle per person should be enough. There are six 125ml glasses in a bottle so that would allow you two glasses after the ceremony and extra one for the toast.
5) For the meal, another half bottle per person is plenty. Some may drink more but plenty will drink less, and this is generally more slanted towards white (unless a winter wedding when it is more 50/50).
6) It is your wedding and so it is very important you pick wines you would like to drink, but I always advise people to choose wines that will also please the majority. With an average of 100 guests at the weddings we supply, it is impossible to keep everybody happy, but you can’t really go wrong with a crisp white and a juicy, fruity red.
7) Choosing slightly unusual grape varieties or opting for wines from Chile and other good value regions means you can get some absolute bargains for under £7 per bottle.
My personal recommendations would be Pe Branco and Pe Tinto from the Espoaro estate in Portugal.
Highly quaffable wines from a very talented wine maker and an absolute bargain to boot.