The wedding season is just around the corner, and your plans may include a wedding at a reception in a private hall or at your parent’s estate. Your task at hand, of purchasing alcohol for the wedding can be tough. Not done with research and knowledge, it could be very expensive to say the least. One thing you don’t want to be concerned with is whether or not you will run out of wine for your guests. This article will look into the world of reception beverages and what you will need to have on hand to ensure success and pleasant memories.
How much wine, beer and if you choose, liquor will vary from wedding to wedding, and you first must ask yourself questions. Will I have a bartender or two serving and will they mix cocktails. Are you just going to serve wine and beer? How many attendees will there be and for how many hours will you be serving.
Here is a great “rule of thumb” on how much white wine, red wine, and sparkling wine to have on hand for your wedding. This can vary depending on what time of year white wine is consumed more in summer months and red in cooler months. For each guest to drink one glass of wine per hour is a good bet, with about five wine glasses to each bottle, you can do the math. A reception lasting three hours and 100 guests you would need approximately 60 bottles of wine, so figure 30 bottles of white and 30 bottles of red.
Then there’s the “Toast” where you will of course need sparkling wine, one glass per attendee, poured in a classic champagne flute. I must stress here that you actually use flute glasses, not regular wine glasses, or your volume will increase, and also, it’s just not cool. You can get approximately six pours from a standard bottle of sparkling wine, therefore for 100 guests; you would need 17 bottles minimum. It is always advisable to have a few extra bottles, especially if you are pouring a high quality sparkling wine. In this case be prepared for requests of a second pour or more, especially if someone like me is there.
As for serving beer at a wedding reception, your choices are bottle or keg. If you have available to you as most towns these days do, a local brewery, then having a keg available at your reception can be a winner. This mainly depends on whom you are inviting. If you know that most of your guests are wine drinkers, then maybe buying by the bottle is the ways to go. With bottled beer, you can always mix and match, light and dark beers, as with the keg, you have one choice.
Ok, so you decide to serve hard liquor at your reception, and are able to have one or more bartenders, then the options to you are many. You can choose select cocktails to serve, from margaritas, rum and coke to gin and tonic. With the availability of larger warehouse liquor stores, as well as great deals with online stores, you can purchase large volume bottles at great prices, and many times with free shipping. When you decide on the bartender for you reception, this is where you can get suggestions on what to serve, and how much to have on hand. A word of advice on serving booze at your wedding reception has a “designated driver program” in place, or taxi service on standby. Remember, you are responsible.
Depending on what part of the country you live, the availability to purchase wine directly from the wineries is a terrific option. If local you have the option of visiting and tasting wines in a tasting room, and making a deal on red and white wines for your wedding. Many wineries will even provide a consignment and or buy back what you don’t use. To them, it makes more sense to provide more than you think you need, because the wine will pour more readily at the event.
However, many of us don’t have the option of driving down the road and walking into a winery for a few cases of wine. If we have a local store that has wine on the shelf, we are at the mercy of the store, and their prices and what their distributor stocks. You also are faced with supply, or a lack of it. How many of those stores carry 20-40 cases of one specific wine. If they do in fact carry a wine you like, then by all means, check with them on getting large volume for the event.
Lets look at an alternative, which has become the home shoppers savior, over and over these days, online wine & spirits sales. A few clicks on your iPad and you are looking at hundreds of choices in wine, with reviews, tasting notes, and the best feature, deals. These online wine stores buy wines for every budget in bulk, and in many cases will even ship for free on large orders. If you are planning for your wedding well in advance, browse through your favorite online wine website, select a few bottles and have the delivered to your home. Then plan a “pre-wedding” wine tasting with your wedding party, to decide on the best red, white and sparkling. Then all you need to do is place an order for as many cases as you need, get free delivery, and if any bottles are left over, what great gifts for the wedding party.
A word of advice if you order cases of wine in advance, find somewhere cool to store these until the wedding.