Weddings & Events

How much wine to purchase?

Our experts have been helping customers to plan their special occasions for over 40 years. We have a great range of wines from all over the world to suit all tastes and price levels. Please contact us if you would like more advice in planning your occasion.

Here are some general rules of thumb but in our humble opinion it’s better to have too much wine than too little.

Champagne / Sparkling

For a Champagne/ Sparkling reception one can chose from Prosecco, Cava or a true Champagne. What’s the difference you ask other than the cost??

Prosecco

Prosecco is a sparkling wine from the Veneto region of Italy, is made with a grape called Glera. Prosecco is also made through a process of secondary fermentation however this takes place in a stainless steel tank and bottling takes place when this process is complete. This is call the Charmat method which is a lot more cost effective resulting in a more affordable price. Prosecco is light and refreshing and is characterised by notes of green apples, citrus and white flowers not overly complex.

Cava

Cava is sparkling wine from the Catalonia region of Spain. The most popular grapes for producing Cava are macabeu, parcellada and xarel. Cava is made using the method of Champenosie Traditional which is the same production method as Champagne. Secondary fermentation (how its gets its bubbles) take place in the bottle. Cava was once known as Spanish Champagne but now due to legislation the French sparkling wine has a protected status under the European Union. The flavours are more complex than Prosecco with a flavour profile of citrus, green apple and supple mineral flavours withy nutty and toasty aromas that develop with age.

Champagne

Champagne is from the Champagne region of France. It is usually made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Champagne is made through a process of MéthodeTraditionelle which requires secondary fermentation (how its gets its bubbles) this takes place in the bottle it will be served from. Its very time and labour intensive, hence the cost of Champagne. As a result of Champagne going through secondary fermentation in bottle it has an added complexity. There are flavours of toasted brioche and biscuit in addition to fruit and other flavours which vary depending on the proportion of the different grapes used. However it is not limited to citrus, apple and white flowers.

Prosecco is far less expensive than true Champagne, but if the budget can stretch go for it. It is your special day after all….

A standard sized bottle of champagne or sparkling wine will serve 7 flute glasses. For a Champagne/ Sparkling reception, you should ideally allow 2-3 glasses per guest. So for 100 guests, you will need 100x2 = 200 glasses or 29 bottles. 

Now to decide on the wine, but there are important points to consider;

  • Who’s attending (non-drinkers, young people, older relatives)
  • What food are you serving? If you’re serving rich meats consider a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or if you’re serving fish as the main, consider white or light red wine such as Beaujolais.
  • Think about the time of year (spring/summer/winter)time of day (noon or night) and the theme (black tie, casual, tropical). All of these factors play an important role in choosing what’s best for you and your occasion. 

Red and White Wine

Our expert’s approximation is for each guest to consume one-half bottle of wine — roughly two glasses — every two hours. These calculations allow for the fact that some people will drink more, some less and others not at all.

Normally there is a higher percentage of white wine than red. So the split is usually 60% white and 40% red. A standard 75cl bottle of wine will serve 5 medium sized wine glasses, therefore, 1 case of wine (12 bottles) = 60 glasses. 

Reds:

We can offer plenty of options for choosing the perfect wine no matter what the budget.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wedding wine, best for hearty meals such as a roast beef dinner. Silky Pinot Noir is slightly more flexible with food than the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is following close behind with its easy drinking smooth style.

Whites:

Chardonnay is the most popular white wedding wine and goes with a variety of dishes from white meat, poultry and fish. Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile white wedding wine that is zesty, light and refreshing it also goes well with seafood, chicken and salads. Another safe bet is the popular Pinot Grigio (also called Pinot Gris). 

Here's an overview of how we can help you pick the best wine for your special occasion;

  1. Get in touch and let us know a couple of things about your wedding - how many are coming, what time of the year is it happening, what food you will be serving and what is your budget per bottle.
  2. We can cater for any budget, and we are committed to help you get the best value for money.
  3. Once we know what you are looking for we will get to work and draw up a short-list of wines, white, red, rose if you wish and champagne/sparkling. 
  4. You decide on the wines and we will get them delivered to your venue for free.

Key points to consider when choosing wine for your special occasion;

  • Quantity: A good rule of thumb is half a bottle of wine per person for the meal. That is 2 glasses of wine for a 2 hour sitting. You're better off rounding up rather than down as you don't want to run out.
  • Brief the waiting staff: It’s a good idea to tell the staff what you would like for them to do with the wine, how often do they pour?Do they leave the wines on the table? Often waiting staff can overfill glasses - too much and too often.
  • Corkage: If you are supplying your own wine, you will have to pay a corkage fee to the venue and a very valid tip is to ensure you get this corkage fee in writing. Corkage is a charge added at a venue for every bottle of wine or champagne served that was not bought on the premises. Typically corkage costs tend to be higher for Champagne / Sparkling. Our advice it to negotiate the corkage.
  • Food matching: It’s generally a good idea to choose your food first or at least have it narrowed to a few options. This will make the wine choice a little easier.
  • Extras:  If you are looking after the catering ensure you have enough glasses, ice and ice-buckets, our experts will be glad to advise you on the amount you will need. With all of the wonderful wine flowing ensure you have enough water for your guests.

Bubbly Offer of 20% OFF

We will give you 20% off your bubbly order when you purchase your wines from us for you special occasion.

Terms and Conditions apply, with a minimum purchase of 60 bottles of red or white wine we will deduct 20% off the list price of your total bubbly bill.