Every couple has something that is extra important to them when it comes to their wedding day. It might be the cake, or the music, or the menu. For some it’s the wine. You don’t want too much, and you definitely don’t want to run out. Here are 4 key questions to make sure it’s perfect – just like the rest of your special day.
- How much will we need? The answer depends on how many guests and how long you will be serving wine. Assuming moderate drinkers, the calculation is about 1 glass/hour/guest. Then you do some math: # guests x # hours = # glasses. You can assume 5 glasses/bottle…so # glasses/5 = # bottles. (Note: There are 12 bottles/case. Make sure to ask for case discounts). The mix of varietals depends on your menu, the season and time of day. People tend to drink more red wine at indoor weddings in the fall, spring and winter based on weather and temperatures – it’s hard to drink a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon when it’s 100 degrees outside! Consider a 50/50 split of red and white wine. During the summer, people tend to drink more white, rosé and sparkling wines. Consider a mix of 30% each of all 3 styles of wine. If you’re also serving cocktails, you can assume 30% less wine. There are several good “drink calculators” which do the math for you. Evite Drink Calculator. The Alcohol Calculator.
- What are we serving? If you’re serving rich meats, consider a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo or Barbera. If you’re serving white meat (chicken, pork or fish) as the main, consider selecting a rosé or light red wine as your ‘red’ option. When it comes to white wine pick something that will pair well and drink nicely on its own – Pinot Grigio, Vermentino or a Sauvignon Blanc are a nice alternative to Chardonnay which is by far the most popular white wine. Sparkling wine can be tricky – some are very sweet (and headache inducing), while others are very dry. Wine Enthusiast has a great list that will help you save, savor or splurge on your sparkling. Hovey Winery, from Murphys, CA has some delicious local Sierra Foothill options (and we happen to be partners, so enjoy!)
- What is our budget? Wines can range dramatically in both quality and cost. You can get a very drinkable “2 buck Chuck”, or go with an extravagant “Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon” that will set you back $12,000 a bottle (and that’s not a type-o). In the $10-15 range consider wine regions like Chile, South Africa, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, and Australia. In the $15-20 range, you can find almost anything. The classic Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Malbec are definite crown pleasers. As you move into the $20-30 range you can find high-quality American wines and look into “serious reds” like Tempranillos, Chianti or Super-Tuscans. Once you get above $30 a bottle, select your favorites and carefully consider how the wine will pair with the meal.
- What is allowed? Some venues, especially wineries and vineyards, require that you purchase their wine. This can be problematic if you like the venue but not their wine. It can also be very costly if there is a minimum purchase requirement. Make sure to ask before making your final venue decision. At Vida Buena Farm you can do your own thing so your special day is everything you wanted it to be…right down to the last sip.