Making your own wine is an easy and fun way to save money on your wedding or special event budget. Not sure where to begin? Here are some questions (and a helpful video) to help get started.
Will You Be Hosting a Cocktail Hour Before Dinner?
If your wedding includes a cocktail reception before dinner, you’ll want to servve crowd-pleasing wines that pair well with an assortment of flavours. We recommend Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir or Merlot for your cocktail hour. These are among our best-selling wines, and they complement a wide variety of food flavours.
Will Wine be Self-Serve or Table Service at Dinner?
For self-service, you’ll want 1-2 bottles of each kind of wine you’re serving at each table so that guests can serve themselves as they desire. Table service is when your service staff top-up guests wine glasses at regular intervals throughout dinner. Table service is more elegant, and usually results in less wasted wine, but arrangements need to be made with your venue ahead of time.
Do You Want to Pair Wines with Your Dinner Menu?
We encourage couples to offer both a red and a white wine option, since guests will likely have their own preferences. Top choices include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Chamblaise for white, and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for red. These wines go very well with a wide variety of foods, and are at the top of most people’s favourite wine lists.
It’s certainly not crucial that you paid your wine selections with dinner – especially since the suggestions above complement a wide variety of meals – but if you’d like to go this route, here are some more specific suggestions. The selections above pair especially well with beef and rich, hearty entrées. Pinot Noir is a lighter red choice for weddings serving a chicken entrée. For chicken or fish entrées, Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice for white wine because it is lighter and crisper. Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot are also a great choices for offering with a vegetarian selection or tomato-rich dish like pasta.
How Much Wine Will You Need?
For an average-sized wedding of about 100-150 guests, we recommend making 2 wine kits: 1 red and 1 white. That will give you 60 x 750mL bottles of wine (30 of each), which is approximately enough for 2 bottles of wine for every 3 guests.
We encourage couples to make more than they think they’ll need – for two reasons: First, it’s better to have more than not enough – especially with something like wine that you can continue to enjoy long after the reception. Second, any wine you don’t think you’ll need for the big day, or any wine left over, can be enjoyed at your bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, honeymoon, post-wedding dinner parties, etc.
Once you see how easy it is to make your own wine, you’ll wonder why you never tried it before! Join the growing number of couples who make their own wine and learn how much fun it is to save on the wines you already enjoy.