How to select the perfect wines for your wedding

For many couples, the walk down the aisle is less daunting than planning the reception.

Big or small? What’s the budget? Who gets invited? Will your family be offended if your crazy uncle is asked to stay home?

With so many decisions, it’s no wonder that most couples ask their caterer to select the wines. Beware of such a move. While some caterers have great portfolios, most are guilty of outrageous markups on pedestrian wines.

Fortunately, selecting the perfect wines for your wedding doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. Here are five simple tips.

Bring your own wine

Many venues will let you bring your own wine and only charge a “corkage fee” for service and stemware. If this is an option, go for it. Carting in your own wine can save a lot of money. If corkage isn’t an option, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Many caterers have wiggle room in their wine prices.

Skip the Champagne

Keep things local. Skip the imported champagne and serve Methode Cap Classique style wines at your wedding. There are plenty of affordable sparkling wines in South Africa which will serve the same purpose and save you a whole lot of money. After all, no one is going to ask if they’re drinking “real” Champagne while toasting the bride and groom.

Avoid the familiar 

Why go for the same-old-same-old? The world is awash in affordable, great-tasting wine. Finding such wines is as easy as opening up your palate to unheralded regions.

Remember the crowd

While values are found outside the wine world’s more popular regions, there’s no sense in terrifying your guests. So avoid esoteric grape varieties and choose wines with wide appeal. It’s hard to go wrong with a South African Chenin Blanc. A rough rule of thumb? Stick to wines with easy-to-pronounce names. Guests won’t be afraid of them.


Most couples consider multiple venues for their reception before deciding where to celebrate. Selecting your wines might not be as important, but the process is typically more fun.

If you’re looking for one white and one red, try to sample at least five or six of each before making your decision. Serve everything blind, pouring the wines from paper bags to mask their prices and where they’re from. Hopefully, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and learn the least expensive option is your favorite.

Your wedding is a celebration — not a wine tasting. So stick to these five money-saving and stress-reducing tips and have fun.

At Ultra Liquors you will find a wide selection of wines at extremely affordable prices.