Many people relate wedding receptions with the sparkling, festive bubbles of Champagne. But many couples are looking to expand the reception offerings beyond punch, melt-away mints and cake.
Wine is often the beverage of choice. Consider a red and a white choice for receptions with a meal or heavy hors d’oeuvres. For diversity offer both even if the food pairing seems obvious. Or consider the increasingly fashionable dry rose if you are serving a single wine throughout the reception.
Sticking to a budget is a top concern for many couples, and supplying your own wine is one way to save. But before buying wine, check with the reception venue to ensure you’re allowed to provide your own wine. Local and state laws vary, as do individual venue rules, and some will require that you buy from their list or be charged a corkage fee. This charge can range from $5 to $20 per bottle. What seemed to be bargain at your local retail shop might not be once these additional fees are tallied.
As far as how much to buy, it’s better to have too much wine than to come up short. Exactly how much wine to buy depends on the time of day, number of guests and overall format of your reception. A daytime toast with wedding cake will require considerably less wine than an evening of dinner and dancing. For evening receptions, most wedding planners plan on each guest drinking two glasses of wine every two hours. This formula takes into account those who drink less or not at all and those who drink more.
The following recommendations include both bubbly and non-bubbly options.
- NV Seaview Brut Sparkling Wine, Australia (about $10 retail)
- 2010 Cline Cellars North Coast Viognier, California (about $12 retail)
- 2010 Argyle Chardonnay, Oregon (about $13 retail)
- 2010 Yalumba Oxford Landing Merlot, Australia (about $10 retail)
- 2010 La Vieille Ferme Blanc, France (about $10 retail)
- 2010 Erath Pinto Gris, Oregon (about $16 retail)
- 2010 Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio, Italy (about $16 retail)
- 2009 Villa Maria Cellar Select Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (about $25 retail)
- NV Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs, California (around $36 retail)