With so many decisions when planning a wedding -- guest lists, wedding dress, flowers, ceremony, oh my! -- a bride-to-be can feel overwhelmed. Choosing wine that you and your fianc(e)é (and guests) will love doesn’t have to add to the stress. We can help you ease into making your reception an amazing celebration of your nuptials.


Keep it simple.


Traditional wisdom suggests people drink more red wine during the fall, winter and spring, and white during summer and on hot days. But, with the rising popularity of white wines consumed throughout the year, you may want to consider varietals that pair well with your menu rather than selecting based on the season.


Wines that work well with a variety of food include light, refreshing whites such as a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc and  crisp fruity reds such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay (also known as a Beaujolais). Rosés are also quite popular and very drinkable, so you may want to include it as a third offering. Also, if you’re planning a toast, a mild champagne or prosecco would be your best option. You can learn more about sparkling wines in this post. [link to previous sparkling wines blog post]


Even so, it’s a good idea to make your wine selections at the same time as your menu. Ask your caterer if they offer pairings when you schedule your tasting. If not, they should be able to offer suggestions. Remember, you do not have to trust their selections blindly, choose varietals you love. Your caterer should be able to help you track down specific wines, so definitely ask.


So, how much should we have?


Nobody wants to run out of wine at their wedding! To prevent this, figure a 750 ML bottle has enough wine for five glasses, so one bottle per person should be plenty. You’ll also want red to make up half of the supply and white the other half. If you’re also serving a rosé, consider splitting the total three ways or have rosé make up 20% of the total, with white and red coming in at 40% each.


If you also plan to serve beer or liquor, the calculation becomes somewhat close to playing the stock market (at least for the mathematically challenged among us). This online calculator [link:https://www.evite.com/pages/party/drink-calculator] will help you figure out exactly how much you need.


Now, about that toast… Go ahead and figure this separately. Take into account one bottle for five people with a full glass. However, if your going with a toast pour, figure one bottle for seven to nine people. 


Let’s talk budget.


You’ll want to estimate the wine to be about 15% of your reception budget. Additionally, there are a few things to consider: If you buy your wine through your caterer (they may include it in their price), expect the cost per bottle to be the same as you’d find in a restaurant. The additional amount will cover the service and help to defray the cost of food.


Deciding to buy the wine yourself is an option. Wine retailers typically give a discount of 10% on each case, so you can get some good deals. However, if your caterer has a corking fee, you may not be saving much on a $7 bottle. It’s a good idea to look at all your options before deciding. This calculator will help. [llink: http://www.thealcoholcalculator.com/?config=LargeWedding] In addition to giving quantities, it shows the approximate cost.


No matter what you serve at your reception, your wedding day is a celebration of you and your fiancé. So, raise your glass and cherish every moment.