It is clear that wine has always been a central element of weddings, if we consider that Christ’s first miracle was the transformation of water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. And, unless you want to leave your newlyweds puzzled like those in the Bible story, wondering that the good wine was left at the end, surely you are asking the question in the title: how do we choose wine for the wedding? So we’ve made a simple list to guide you to an easy choice.
First of all, do you know enough about wine? If not, it’s best to let someone else handle it. Calculate your available wine budget and look for a sommelier or knowledgeable consultant. Often, you can also have a constructive discussion with the manager of the restaurant/lounge where you are organising the wedding, although there are also places that exclusively promote certain products, often received with significant discounts, and which bring higher profits.
How much wine to drink at the wedding?
The magic figure of 2.15 people per bottle is widely reported, but the total volume depends on many more factors – average age, number of drivers, ratio of men to women, drinking habits, etc. In addition, accidents can happen – broken bottles, defective corks or, quite traditionally, employees who don’t hesitate to restock from home. So 2 bottles per 3 people is a much closer ratio to the truth, especially since the half glass of sparkling wine usually offered at the reception has long since become insufficient.
Bottled or loose?
Always bottled! If it’s beyond your budget, choose bag-in-box wines anyway, not the hated PETs where the wine, no matter how good the source, oxidizes quickly.
Where do I buy?
One of the reasons why people hesitate to place a larger wine order is to avoid being left with paid for but not consumed wine. Most producers, distributors and event organisers accept the return of unused wine, so worry less.
What kind of wine do I buy?
The proportion of wine types is the most complicated part of the choice. As much as your wine-loving friends may boast that they only drink dry red wine, it rarely accounts for more than 25-30% of all wine consumed at summer events, and no more than 35% in winter. Cold sparkling wine is drunk at the reception, and on thirst, and with cake, and more recently even in cocktails – so at least 10-15% of the wine should be bubbly.
In order to keep as many guests happy as possible, it would be good to have two white wines – one dry and one semi-dry – to choose from, as many traditional consumers unconditionally love semi-dry wines and sprit. A neutral rose can satisfy most tastes, but a fragrant one will please many ladies and gentlemen guests.
To accompany meat dishes, a dry red wine will be mandatory, but try to choose a well-rounded one, without harshness or bitterness. Don’t forget, for sweet wine lovers, to have a few examples, between 3-5% of the total, of dessert wines.
What can I do specifically?
If your budget allows, you can personalize the wine labels at the wedding to give your guests a bottle as a memento. In general, because not one bottle is offered to each guest, but one bottle for a family, you can expect a bottle requirement of 60-70% of the number of guests. But it’s best to know in advance which guests are coming alone and which are accompanying.