Couples naturally want their wedding to be perfect, from the fit of the dress to the ‘wow’ factor of the cake. Whether you’re planning a party for 20 or 200, the questions regarding wine are still the same: Which wines? How much of each? What does it cost? Can we personalize the experience somehow? Here you’ll find answers to those important questions…
Red, White, or Rosé?
Consider serving one red and one white wine if the reception includes a meal or hors d’oeuvres. Professional wedding planners suggest serving equal amounts of red and white wine (if only so you don’t disappoint half the crowd). For those who want to pour just one wine with the meal, there is a happy compromise: dry rosé, a wine that’s refreshing and also substantial enough to drink with sturdy foods.
Red wine top picks
Pinot Noir, Italian Valpolicella, Merlot and Barolo’s are light to medium bodied reds that go well with meats, chicken, pasta etc. Prices from $172.00 – $248.00. Makes 30 Bottles, free personalized labels & caps.
White wine top picks
Crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Viognier, Riesling, Unoaked Chardonnay’s are all versatile whites that go well with seafood, chicken, vegetables and salads. Prices from $148.00 – $232.00. Makes 30 Bottles, free personalized labels & caps.
Sweet White Zinfandel is fine for the patio, but weddings call for a more serious pink wine. Dry Rosé is crisp and fruity, without the sweetness of white zinfandel and other blush wines, and pairs beautifully with salads, poultry, pork, tuna, salmon, and even sirloin. Rosé also hits the spot in both warm and cool weather, day and night. Top picks include Grenache Rosé $232.00, Blush Zinfandel $173.00, $148.00, $127.00 Makes 30 bottles, free personalized labels & caps.
If bubbly will be served with the wedding cake — or perhaps during the toast — pour one that has a sweetness that can stand up to the cake, or whatever other dessert is served. A sparkling blush Zinfandel would be a good choice. Sparkle as many as 30 bottles or as few as 6. Prices vary from $18 – $30 to sparkle.
Coming up with a total
How much wine to make will depend on various factors, including the number of guests, whether it’s a wine-drinking crowd, the format of the reception, the time of year, time of day, and the menu. Here are some general rules of thumb:
- It’s better to have too much wine than not enough. You don’t want your guests with an empty glass for the toast!
- The standard 750-ml wine bottle holds 25 ounces; count on five servings of wine, at five ounces each, from one bottle. For sparkling wines served in flutes, allow for four ounces per serving (plus foam), which equals six servings per bottle.
- Count on each guest consuming one-half bottle of wine — roughly two glasses — every two hours. These calculations allow for the fact that some folks will drink more, some less and some not at all.
Consider the season
Crisp white wines, dry rosés, and light- to medium-bodied reds are ideal for warm-weather weddings because they offer more refreshment than heavier wines. For winter and fall weddings, wines with more weight and power (Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel) pair best with chilly temperatures and rich comfort foods.
Time of day
Guests tend to drink less and drink lighter wines in the daytime than in the evening. Serve chilled white wines, rosés, and lighter reds if you’re expecting a sunny afternoon garden wedding. In the evening, temperatures drop; if you’re having a sit-down dinner and want guests to linger longer, budget for more red wine than you would for the day.
Personalize your bottles
We have a large selection of modern and traditional labels which you can personalise; there are also, several websites which sell labels that you can custom-design online. Here are a couple of our favourites – weddingstar.com, zazzle.ca
Seek our advice
If you are unsure, make an appointment with McBarleys; we can recommend wines that will work for the time of day, season, food, and budget. Allow yourself plenty of time – 12 months is ideal but not always necessary, we can still make a selection of wines within as little as 6 months.
Not all venues allow the client (you) to bring the wine, so check with everyone involved before making your wine with McBarleys.
Ooop’s…We almost forget to mention Beer!
Check out our beer menu or if you have a commercial favourite and you don’t see it on our menu, call us, we likely brew it! Kegs and taps are provided free of charge for your wedding day.
PS. Wine is one gift you won’t mind opening over and over, don’t forget to add us to your gift list!