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Wedding
Champagne & wine

Top tips for selecting your wedding wine and fizz
Glasses of wine on a table
Andrew Riding, Waitrose Cellar wine specialist

Looking for wine and fizz for your big day?

There is so much to do when organising your wedding - invites, flowers, cake, seating plans, there is lots to think about and lots to do. While selecting the menu, under the skilled guidance of your chosen venue, may be an enjoyable task it is easy to get stressed at the thought of matching wine with your chosen dining experience.

As a Waitrose Cellar Specialist I regularly speak to couples about fizz, cocktail and wine requirements for their wedding to help provide them with the same professional advice in the selection of their beverages as they get when choosing their menu.

I have put together a few tips to help make beverage planning for your wedding a bit easier. If you would like more details or recommendations for your special day call 03456 100 304 or email specialists@waitrosecellar.com to talk to myself or one of my colleagues.

Top 5 tips for buying wedding champagne and wine

Wine and champagne on a tray

Taste before purchase

The world of wine is a complex, dynamic and intriguing place, which can make buying for a large group of people a daunting task. So the number one rule for your wedding day should be – if you like it, it is right. My favourite stories come from couples who seek out a variety they enjoyed on their first date, or a blend from a part of the world where they travelled together.

We have put together a collection of wedding favourites so you can explore the best selling versions of your favourite variety, country or style of wine. We suggest you mix your own taster case of two reds, two whites and two sparkling wines from this favourites list to sample. If you would like tips on what to include in your taster case please do get in touch with a Cellar Specialist on 03456 100 304.

Wine glasses on a table

A guide to corkage

The first question every couple asks when they start thinking about wine and fizz for their wedding is, do we get better value if we go with the house wine at our venue or should we bring in our own wine?

We recommend you do a bit of research on the house wines you are presented with, compare the cost of the wine to the reviews you find and then decide would you get a higher quality wine for the same/ less cost if you purchased bottles yourself and paid the corkage fee.

Many couples decide to pay the corkage fee to bring in wines that are personal to them or most simply do it to get more value for money per bottle of wine.

Chase sparkling wine

Tips for the reception

Traditional champagne is a classic offering and a guaranteed crowd pleaser or, if you would prefer to save your beverage budget for higher quality wines for your main meal you could try a cava or prosecco with a dash of Chase Elderflower Liqueur for a sumptuous twist.

If you have a summer wedding why not add champagne to Pimms; in equal amounts to the lemonade, for a refreshing pimms royal punch.

Table set for a wedding

Wine for dining

The key for buying wine for your wedding meal is to keep it simple. Choose a white to match a lighter, chicken or fish dishes and a red to match a darker meat. Cellar specialist Rebecca has put together a great food and wine pairing guide for specific recommendations.

When considering the ratio of white wine to red wine, going 50/50 is the safe choice. If you are having a summer wedding serving 60% white wine and 40% red might be a good idea; consider the reverse if you are having a winter wedding.

It is difficult to know exactly how many bottles you will need for a wedding, our general suggestion is half a bottle per person. It is always better to have more wine than not enough and remember you can cellar the leftover bottles to enjoy over the next few years.

Champagne in a bucket

Fizz for the toast

Bottles of fizz typically serve 6 glasses, so relatively, you need to buy less bottles of bubbly than red and white wine.

Generally;

  • 9 bottles of fizz will serve one glass per person for a group of 50
  • 18 bottles will serve one glass each for a group of 100
  • 26 bottles will serve one glass per person for 150 people

Most couples like to over estimate this calculation by a few bottles, just in case, and cellar any leftover bottles to enjoy themselves over their first year of marriage.

Everything else for your big day

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