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How To Buy Wines For Your Wedding

Updated: Jun 2

Michael Perman curates wines for weddings
Michael Perman curates wines for weddings

Planning your dream wedding? Don’t forget the wine! Picking the perfect wines can elevate your celebration, and it should be one of the last steps in your planning process. The right wines can complement your wedding theme, food, location, and budget beautifully. Plus, working with an independent professional sommelier instead of a catering company can save you money and give you access to a wider range of options. A professional sommelier will help you choose the right wines and quantities, whether it's for your wedding weekend or bridal showers.

Start with Your Style and Some Bubbly!

What's your wedding vibe? Is it formal and elegant, or laid-back and country fun? Do you want your wines to be exquisite or accessible?

Glamorous and Elegant:

For a high-end, glamorous affair, Krug Grande Cuvée 171ème Edition Champagne is a fantastic choice. This luxurious champagne takes over 20 years to perfect, composed of 131 reserve wines—yes, that’s right—blended from 12 vintages dating back to 2000, and the final blend aged for seven years. It is a blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay, and 18% Pinot Meunier. Priced at around $300 per bottle, it boasts an orchestra of aromas, including warm croissants, quince, Amalfi lemon, and roasted almond. Plus, you have leftovers, the wine can continue aging for another decade. The bouquet offers an orchestra of aromas led by warm croissant, quince, and Amalfi lemon, dusted in toasted almonds. Plus, if any is left over, this wine will continue aging for another decade of memories.

Fun and Festive:

If you’re looking for something more approachable, try Faire La Fete Crémant de Limoux from the South of France, in a town where Dom Perignon began to learn about making his Champagne. At less than $30 a bottle, it’s bright, festive, and sassy, with wild strawberry and orange peel aromas. Perfect for a cheerful celebration!  Faire La Peter is bright, festive, and sassy, with a salmon-copper tone in the glass and an enticing mousse. Aromas feature wild strawberries accented by herbs, zesty spice, and orange peel.

Pairing Wines with Your Menu

Choosing wines that pair well with your menu is key. Your professional sommelier can guide you to the best choices based on your food selections.

Light and Festive Menu:

For a light menu featuring salads, chilled shrimp, and appetizers in an outdoor setting, consider the 2020 J. Moreau et Fils Fourchaume Chablis Premier Cru. This wine offers elegant and complex aromas of green apple, white peach, and jasmine. It's vibrant, broad, and perfectly balanced. Alternatively, a crisp rosé like the 2023 Chateau des Demoiselles Côtes de Provence could be a hit, with its fresh and juicy flavors of watermelon, pineapple, and garden herbs.

Rich and Meaty Menu:

For a menu featuring meaty and spicy dishes, light red wines like the 2022 Chateau Thivin Brouilly Reverdon Beaujolais are ideal. This wine, with its notes of cherries, raspberries, and toasted spices, is refreshing and under $40 per bottle. For richer dishes like steak or BBQ, consider the 2018 McHenry Hohnen Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia. It offers complex aromas of strawberries, chocolate, and raspberries, and a full-bodied palate, all for less than $50 per bottle.

Design and Presentation

Your wines should not only taste great but also match your wedding’s color scheme. Whether your theme is soft and elegant or bold and energetic, your sommelier can help select wines with beautiful labels that enhance your table design. Wine labels can be fun!  For example, the Chaptoutier Marius Pays doc Viognier is written in Braille, conveying the winemaker's desire to have his wines more accessible. For Red wine, the 2018 Chateau Rauzan Gassies L'Orme de Rauzan-Gassies Haut-Médoc Bordeaux  has an elegant bottle design that pairs well with softer tones.

How Much Wine to Order?

Your sommelier can help you determine the right amount based on your specific situation. The amount of wine to order is influenced by the time of day, time of year, your menu, your guest list, and your venue. To begin, if your wedding is a destination where people won’t need to drive after the event, they might feel more open to party and drink more wine. If the time of year and time of day is warm, guests will likely consume more. In addition, spicy food tends to stimulate more craving for wine. On average, you need one bottle of wine for every two people at a wedding.

So, for a wedding of 100 people in a venue where people drive home after the event, you would need at least 50 bottles…a bit more than 4 cases. But if your guests are staying at the venue and would like to party, then you might need to increase that amount. Work with your Sommelier to determine the right amount based on your situation.

Buying the Wine

You have a few options for purchasing your wedding wine. Working directly with your catering company can be convenient but expensive due to high markups. Buying from a big box store like Costco or Total Wine is cheaper, but logistics can be challenging. The best option might be to work with a professional sommelier, such as Michael Perman Wine and Sensory They can help you choose wines that match your budget, theme, and menu, and they offer free shipping directly to your venue anywhere in the USA at half the cost of typical catering charges.

Planning your wedding can be overwhelming, but choosing the perfect wines with a professional sommelier can be one of the most enjoyable and seamless parts of your planning experience. Look for a Sommelier on The Knot or other wedding websites such as Zola. Or just search for "wedding planner near me" and find the right one for you.

Sommelier Michael Perman curates wines for weddings
Sommelier Michael Perman curates wines for weddings and weddking planners

Cheers to your special day! 🥂

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