Choosing wine for your wedding can be a tricky, and expensive, business. It’s impossible to give one-size-fits-all advice for weddings. Much depends on how many people you’re inviting, the size of your budget, whether you’re having a reception with trendy drinks and hors d’oeuvres or a sit-down dinner, whether caterers or hotels insist that you order only from their wine lists and so many other factors.
Here are some top tips from the experts on how to go about choosing the perfect wines for your wedding.
1. Wine Moments
Typically there are three possible wine moments for your day; after the ceremony, during the meal and for the toast.
2. Sparkling Wine?
If you’re keen on serving bubbles to your guests after your ceremony consider buying a sparkling wine and adding orange juice or cassis for a novel and cost-effective welcome to your reception.
3. White Wine
Our white wine guide: pinot grigio is soft and plain and good for drinking on its own; chardonnay is round and fruity and is a good partner for a wide selection of food dishes; sauvignon blanc is light and fresh, floral and summery.
4. Red Wine
The light and fruity nature of the red grape pinot noir is versatile enough to pair with a number of dishes and suits most palates, which makes it the perfect wedding red wine. .
5. Keep it Simple
Whether you select your wine from the list available at your venue or bring your own, keep it simple. One white, one red, one sparkling and a rosé if you like.
6. Corkage Fee
If you’re tied into the wine selection that’s available at your venue it’s worth asking what their corkage fee is; you can often find better quality wines at the same price if you bring your own.
7. How much?
As a rule of thumb, you should cater half a bottle of wine per adult for the wedding breakfast (‘breakfast’ is the common term for any wedding meal – not just the ones that happen in the morning), the equivalent of three small glasses.
8. Screw Caps
An increasing number of wines are closed with a screw cap rather than a cork. Don’t be put off by this; a screw cap is more often than not a sign of a fresh and young wine rather than one that’s cheap.
When it comes to tradition champagne is the wine to be served with the toasts, but there are some excellent alternatives that taste just as good and come without the price tag. Cava is a great example.
Some people find champagne and cava a bit rich. A lighter style of sparkling wine is likely to please your guests just as much, and be a bit easier on your wallet.
11. Try Before You Buy
It’s important that you and your partner enjoy the wines on the day so it’s really worth trying before you buy.
Impress your guests by including the names of the wines on your menu cards for your guests to take away with them.
If wine is not really your thing, then perhaps these wedding bouquets for brides who love marijuana will.