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Red, White or Rose? How Not to Bottle it When it Comes to Choosing Wedding Wine

After the wedding comes the party and with the party comes the alcohol! Choosing a great selection of wines for your guests not only compliments the food served at the reception, but it also gets everyone in the party mood. However, if you don’t know your Sauvignon Blanc from your Beaujolais, it can be a minefield. Luckily, Jollybrolly has all you need to know about wedding wine.

How much do I buy?

This depends entirely on how many guests you have invited and how many, among those guests, are drinkers. Remember that your entire guest count may include children, expectant mothers or non-drinkers so make sure to be mindful of those who will not be partaking. The formula for working out how many bottles to buy works by dividing the number of guests by 2.15; for instance, 100 guests divided by 2.15 equates to 46 bottles which should be more than enough for your guests to enjoy.

When it comes to budget, many wine cellars can organise deals for multiple cases or may even have a specific wedding discount. It is always best to buy by the case for large events and rounding it up to the nearest 12 will ensure you definitely won’t run dry – plus any leftovers we’re sure will be well looked after by the newly married couple!

What kind of grape variety suits my wedding?

There are dozens of grape varieties so it’s not just a case of picking red, white or rose. Whereas many people do not know the intricate differences between specific wines, the world of wine tasting has become more accessible in recent years so there are bound to be a few aficionados among your guests. It is therefore important to make sure you cater to everyone’s tastes as well as thinking about which wines compliment the food and the atmosphere of your wedding.

The time of year in which you host your wedding has a lot to do with what your guests prefer to drink. Summer weddings and those taking place outdoors are more likely to see guests drinking white wine and rose as well as sparkling wine and prosecco. For winter weddings and receptions taking place indoors or in the evening, red wines are preferable. But now that you’ve chosen your colour, how do you choose the grape? Here is a quick go-to list of what to look for and how to match it to your wedding:

What food are you serving? Red meat is always complimented by red wine; beef and lamb work particularly well with red wines from South America and Spain which are usually full-bodied and have a deep flavour. Look out for grapes such as Syrah, Tempranillo and Carmenere, which are always crowd pleasers but not run of the mill, or if you wish to go for a classic French wine at a higher budget, try Beaujolais or Cotes du Rhone. If you are serving fish or seafood, it is always best to have white wine available as it works particularly well with any fish-based dishes, particularly Australian wines. There are also specific dessert wines which are sweet and served in small quantities; these work perfectly at the end of a meal with dessert or perhaps as an after-dinner nightcap.

What time of year is your event being held? As we previously mentioned, time of year is a big influence on what type of wine you serve. For spring and summer, rose is always preferable and is a beautifully romantic shade of pink. A Pinot Grigio Blush is the most common and well-liked rose, although there are many mixed with heavier red grapes which have a fuller flavour. White wine is also more frequently consumed at summer weddings and the most popular grapes are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. If you would like to go for something more unusual, Riesling is a German grape variety which has seen increasing popularity in recent years. Look for white wines from the USA, Italy and France as there will be many types to suit any budget.

What is your budget? It may be an intimidating prospect trying to buy enough quality wine to please everyone, however it needn’t make up a huge amount of your budget. With wine becoming more accessible, prices have gone down and there are some excellent wines to choose from with a price tag of under £10 a bottle. Do a bit of research online as to what wine works with your theme and meal and then shop around. High street wine merchants always have deals and can often meet you halfway if you are buying a large amount. It is possible to buy large amounts straight from the wholesalers, cutting out the middle man and saving on costs too. Either way, you do not have to spend the earth trying to find the perfect wine, often guests will be impressed that you have chosen something specific for them rather than the mainstream ‘house red/white’ type wine.

What about my toast?

Champagne or sparkling wine is a must at any wedding, not just to celebrate but also for wedding toasts. Champagne is of course the preferred drink of choice for weddings, however there are some equally fantastic sparkling wines and proseccos at affordable prices. Champagne is perfect not just for a single toast, but also as a drink of choice for the whole night if you are hosting an outdoor wedding. We love the idea of an outdoor toast at dusk by candlelight for a great photo opportunity and a particularly romantic setting. We also recommend taking a few umbrellas, not just for the unpredictable weather, but also for the fantastic pictures as the candlelight lights up the umbrellas creating a gorgeous ethereal glow for your guests to enjoy – as they enjoy the glowing feeling of your fantastic choice of wine!

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