In the last few years we have been witnesses to a really wonderful trend. More and more couples are going to the source to secure the wine for their wedding. By going to the source couples are better able to find a perfect pairing for their wedding banquet while securing better pricing. As a bonus, a trip to a wine-producing destination can be a wonderful way to ease the stress of wedding planning.
Both the amount and quality of the wines selected for a wedding require careful planning. Let’s face it; the miracle of Canaan is very unlikely to happen at your own event. At Napa Private Tours we have had the fortunate opportunity to assist several couples in their wine purchasing tour in Napa & Sonoma. As wine concierges our goal is to provide guidance and perspective while facilitating a memorable and enjoyable occasion for our guests.
If you and your fiancé are coming to Napa to select and purchase your wedding wine please take note. We have collected our best tips and tried to answer the most commonly asked questions.
Before Your Visit to Napa
You may be anxious to book your flight and enjoy an idyllic weekend of wine tasting but before you pack your bags it is important to have completed a few items from your wedding checklist. The most important checkmarks are these:
-Menu selection. Before the wine comes the food. Know what you are serving in order to be able to make a perfect pairing.
-Know your final headcount. Your wine math depends on it!
-Be sure your venue has reasonable corkage fees. We have seen some as high as $25 per bottle.
-Take the season and venue into account. Summer, outdoorsy weddings are far more compatible with whites than reds.
How Much Wine Should I Buy?
This, my friends, is the golden question. When it comes to hosting a delightful wedding ensuring there is enough merriment to go around is essential. Get your pencils ready and take note. We asked a few friends with extensive catering experience and they were eager to share these tips:
-The essentials: On reds and whites a bottle is 750ml or five glasses. For sparkling a bottle yields six flutes.
-If you plan to have a cocktail hour with a welcome toast for bride and groom as well as a cake-cutting toast make it two flutes of sparkling per adult with a 5 bottle buffer.
-For reds and whites if only beer and non-alcoholic beverages are offered estimate one glass per hour per guest.
-An even split of reds and whites is customary if you have offerings of both white and red meats. If the wedding is has a summer theme or menu consider going 60% white to 40% red plus sparkling.
-To obtain the best value this is your chance to join wonderful wine clubs.
-Personalized labels-Many fine Napa wineries can work with you if given sufficient time.
Here is an example of the math:
Total guests: 200 (150 adults)
Reception hours: 5
Cash bar: No
Beer & Non-alcoholic: yes
Total # of glasses red & wine combined: 750
Total # of bottles red & white: 150
Even split between white and red by case: 13 cases of white/13 cases of red
Sparkling # of glasses: 300
Total # of bottles: 50
Total # of cases: 5
Because we are recently married we know finding great value without compromising quality is very important when planning a once in a lifetime experience. Here is a list of our favorite wines for your special day all under $45 a bottle and some as low as $15. Keep in mind you are able to achieve the best prices and buy the most exclusive wines by joining the winery clubs.
Chandon Classic (bubbly)
Ceja Vino de Casa (red)
Saddleback Pinot Grigio (white)
Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs (bubbly)
Fontanella Chardonay (white)
Yates Fleur de Veeder (red)
If you want to stretch your budget consider serving a signature beverage. The limit is your imagination. Your signature beverage can be incorporated into the toast or served during cocktail hour. Sangria is a lovely choice.
Here is to a life full of romance,