If you’re like most people, choosing your wedding beverages for your special day is one of the LAST items on the seemingly never-ending list of things to organise. I get it! When you’re planning a wedding (especially a DIY wedding), there are so many things to order by a particular date and lock in or you will miss out. So when it comes to beverages there’s less rush and panic. You’ll just hit up the bottle-o the week before and she’ll be apples. Right?!
Interestingly, the priorities don’t match up with those of your guests who place a very high priority on “the drinks”. Aside from the fact they love a free drink, the beverage quality and selection says a lot about how you value them, and they’ll be talking about it loooong after the day itself.
So, when I sit down with my clients at a personalised wine tasting, one of the questions I ask is, who they are as a couple, what do they like to drink and why? Most people I find, have favourites – they love a French rosé, or a dry Riesling. Some are influenced by parents, or grandparents who have a fondness for a particular Barossa Shiraz, or Hunter Chardy. Mostly, couples know bits and pieces but not the full picture of all their guests drinking habits (fairly understandable considering the very nature of drinking doesn’t aid attention to detail…)
Throw into the mix that wines themselves are so incredibly varied these days, even within the same grape variety, which means that unless you’re trained in wine, or always trying out new varieties, it’s tricky to get a sense of what you really like about specific wines.
So, when you’re standing at Dan’s trying to work out what on earth you’re going to drink on one of the most important days of your life, here are a couple of tips:
- Avoid love/hate varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Merlot, and stick to varieties like Pinot Gris/Grigio, Rosé, Pinot Noir & Shiraz (sometimes a Chardy and a Cab can work, depending on the group).
- You don’t need to have something for everyone! Choose your wines wisely (and with advice if you need).
- When it comes to beer, don’t overthink it. Choose 2 or 3 different varieties and order even numbers of each, or get creative and have one case each of all your favourites (20 – if you must…!)
- Working out how much you need is the crystal-ball question, but my advice is ‘less-is-more’. I see so many couples walk away the day after the wedding, with the amount they should’ve had to start with.
- I always like to find the best wine for the lowest price, and this is particularly valuable when it comes to bubbles. Obviously French Champagne is luxe, but it’s also between $70 – $700 per bottle. You can get a French Sparkling (ie. not grown & produced in the Champagne region of France, but possibly just down the road and over the hedge), for $17 – $35 per bottle, way better price point when you’re buying 80 bottles of it, and the taste, well needless to say, it’s delicious!
- Think about the season, is it warm? Then up the quantities of bubbles, whites & rosés, with less reds. Also, think about adding in a cocktail quencher for post-ceremony. This gives you a nice opportunity to add a personal touch. Similarly if it’s cooler, change up the quantities, maybe an espresso martini for that 10pm after dinner dance is in order?
Otherwise if all else fails, book in a personalised wine tasting with a sommelier (I happen to know a good one). Bring your fiancé, parents, bridal party, and enjoy trying 15-25 different wines selected for their suitability to YOU and your group specifically, and most importantly, your budget! Not only will engaging a service like this you make an otherwise time-consuming and anxiety-inducing activity way more easy and enjoyable, you’ll learn something about your palette, different wine varieties, and you’ll show your guests how much they mean to you!
Hi, I’m Amelia Birch. Your Personal Sommelier. I currently oversee the business operations of ‘Merribee’ an ornate garden wedding venue on the South Coast, which prompted me to start Your P.S., as a result of seeing couples drinking ubiquitous wines for their weddings, ordering too much or not enough, and spending lots of money in the process! I love helping people and solving problems, thus making life more efficient. I also quite like wine. Why should you use Your P.S.? Find out here.