The Best Wines to Drink at your Wedding Reception
So it’s your big day? You are tying the knot, making a long-term commitment to somebody you love.
But once the ceremony is over, it’s time for the wedding reception. A fantastic time to enjoy great wine in the company of close friends and family.
If you are using a caterer to arrange the reception, the wine choice will usually be up to them, as it will be included in the cost.
But if you are arranging the wedding reception yourself, you will need to choose the wine.
And this can be something of a challenge both in cost and selecting the right tastes.
Alpha Zeta – R Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2013 6x 75cl Bottles€82.31 Find Merchant
Bellavista – Franciacorta Cuvee Brut NV 6x Magnum 1.5 Litre€388.78 Find Merchant
Chateau l’Arnaude – Cuvee Nuit Blanche 2014 Magnum 1.5lt€25.67 Find Merchant
Croft – LBV 2008 75cl Bottle€14.14 Find Merchant
Croft – Pink 75cl Bottle€12.34 Find Merchant
San Leo Prosecco Magnum Twin Pack€53.09 Find Merchant
Waitrose Fino Sherry€8.84 Find Merchant
Wine Buyers French red and white wine special selection (6 bottles)€126.42 Find Merchant
Wine Buyers Red Wine special selection (6 bottles)€164.35 Find Merchant
Wine Buyers white wine special selection (6 bottles)€126.42 Find Merchant
So it is important to get the best value from the wines you choose. In this article we are going to try and make some suggestions for good wines, that are inexpensive, can be bought in bulk, or come in larger bottles offering better value.
Best Wines to Serve Early Arriving Guests
There are always guests who turn up too early for any event. And when this happens at your wedding reception, you can’t really leave the standing in the carpark.
So you need to welcome them, and serve them an aperitif while they are waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive.
For this, you need a good, light wine, and one that isn’t too expensive. Here are some great examples:
San Leo Prosecco Magnum Twin Pack
From the Waitrose Cellar, this is a twin pack of magnum bottles.
So you are getting a lot of wine for the price. Prosecco is a great Italian sparkling wine.
So serving this to your early guests at your wedding reception is a good alternative to champagne.
This is a light and refreshing white wine, that most people can enjoy.
The Grand Vin Six Bottle Wine Gift 6 x 75cl Bottles
From Majestic Wine, here we have a selection for people who have slightly deeper pockets.
This is a six bottle pack of German wines. 3 bottles of red, and 3 bottles of white.
This gives your early arriving guests a wider choice at your wedding reception.
La Vie en Rosé Mix Six 6 x 75cl Bottles
From Majestic Wine, here we have 6 mixed bottles of rose wine. These have been selected as some of the best budget rose wines from France and Italy.
Rose is a good choice to serve early guests at a wedding reception. It is easy to drink, and very refreshing.
The good thing about this selection, is if it doesn’t all get consumed by the early guests, it can be repurposed over dinner, or later during the evening.
Wines to Drink with the Formal Dinner
Sitting down to a formal dinner at a wedding reception is a tradition. But even if you only have a couple of dozen guests coming to your wedding reception, that’s an awful lot of wine you will need to serve.
So you need to find good wines, that offer great value. Here is a selection of those we think would be suitable:
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Six Bottle Wine Gift in Wood 6 x 75cl Bottles
When it comes to pairing wine with white meat and fish, Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice. Semi-dry, with a great citrus bouquet. The finish is dry but still refreshing.
Here we have a 6 bottle pack of great, inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc from Majestic Wines.
A great choice to accompany the formal dinner at your wedding reception if you are eating fish or white meat, or even vegetarian dishes.
Alpha Zeta R Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2013 6 x 75cl Bottles
Coming from TheDrinkShop, here is our selection of red wine to drink with your formal dinner at your wedding reception.
If you are serving red meat, or other rich dishes this is a great choice.
A fresh and fruity Valpolicella, sold in a 6 bottle pack. A good dry red, but not too challenging.
A great choice for people who don’t appreciate heavier red wines.
Wine Buyers French red and white wine special selection (6 bottles)
If you are happy to spend a little more to make your wedding reception dinner a bit more special, this is a good choice from Vintage Wine Gifts.
Here we have a handpicked selection of French red and white wines.
These are all exceptional wines, noting budget about this section apart from the price.
Wines for the After Dinner Speeches and Toasts
Once dinner is done and dusted, it’s time to move on to another wedding reception tradition.
The after dinner speeches and associated toasts. For this, we really need something champagne like.
As again, we are going to need quite a lot. So we need the bubbles and vibe of champagne, without the price tag. Here is our selection of wines that fill this need:
Prosecco Conegliano Six Bottle Champagne Gift 6 x 75cl Bottles
You can’t go wrong with this selection from majestic wine. A great white Italian Prosecco that has been packed to be a pseudo-champagne.
It has all the looks, a great taste and a price that simply makes it a no brainer.
An amazing selection sure to work well for the toasts after your wedding reception dinner. Most people won’t even realize it isn’t real champagne.
Nicolas Feuillatte Six Bottle Champagne Gift 6 x 75cl Bottles
This is a truly amazing selection from Majestic Wine.
An authentic champagne in a 6 bottle pack, at a price we would usually pay for a single bottle of better known Champagne.
Of course, we are not getting top quality champagne here. But if you want to serve real champagne to your wedding reception dinner guests, this is how to do it without spending too much.
Bellavista Franciacorta Cuvee Brut NV 6x Magnum 1.5 Litre
From TheDrinkShop, here we have a magnum 6 pack of a truly impressive new style white sparkling wine.
Bellavista is not intended to mimic any specific vintage. Instead, it markets itself a new, unique wine.
A fruity, flowery bouquet, and a surprisingly long refreshing finish.Something truly exceptional for those after dinner toasts at your wedding reception, and not overly expensive either.
People won’t be disappointed by this selection; it is something special.
Wines to Keep the Party Flowing
Dinner is done, the speeches are over, and it is time to push back the tables and party. What wines can you serve here?
We need a good variety here, wines for white wine drinkers, wines for red wine drinkers, light wines, challenging wines, all sorts really.
So we need to find deals that offer many types of wine in a single package. Here are some packages that fit the bill
Wine Buyers Red Wine special selection (6 bottles)
Coming from Vintage Wine Gifts, here we have a fantastic selection of handpicked red wines from the major wine growing regions around the world.
This pack also comes with accessories such as a wine stopper and a corkscrew, so you can pop one on each table at your wedding reception.
Wine Buyers white wine special selection (6 bottles)
This is the same deal as our previous selection, but for white wine this time.
Here we have 6 bottles of great white wine that have been chosen by wine experts.
This price is good; the wines are great.
Chateau l’Arnaude Cuvee Nuit Blanche 2014 Magnum 1.5lt
From TheDrinkShop, this selection fills a gap, by providing a rose wine option.
Coming in a value magnum size, it’s a refreshing, light rose that is easy to drink.
Rose wine is perfect for people who don’t often drink wine. It has some character, but is not too challenging.
Wines to Enjoy Late in the Evening
Just as there are always people who turn up early for an event like a wedding reception, there are always those that linger late.
It’s time to roll out those fortified wines that people enjoy sipping late at night, possibly whilst enjoying a cigar.
So here is a selection of great fortified wines that won’t break the bank.
Croft LBV 2008
From TheDrinkShop here we have a classic dark port from Croft.
A full bodied fortified wine that is just perfect for sipping slowly late in the evening at your wedding reception.
It’s nothing award winning, but it is good, and the price is right.
Again from TheDrinkShop, this is a much lighter alternative to our first selection.
A very fresh port, with a startling colour, that will surprise non-port drinkers with its fruity taste and light body.
So many people see port as being an old fashioned drink. This product shows us that this is simply not so.
A fine, refined port, that is sure to be a hit late at night at your wedding reception.
Waitrose Fino Sherry
From the Waitrose Cellar, here is a bargain basement option for people who want to provide a late night tipple for their guests at their wedding reception.
This is a fine, light sherry that has plenty of taste.
A very pale hue, this is the kind of sherry you could actually chill and serve over ice.
Wedding Reception Wines Conclusion
Although this article was written specifically with a self-catered wedding reception in mind, it actually fits any large event that you organise yourself.
Finding good value and tasty wine is a real challenge, especially when it needs to be enjoyed by a wide range of people with different tastes.
This article should help you overcome large scale catering situations where you need to buy in the wine.
Mac is an avid traveller, who spends many months of the year wandering the world with a laptop and a suitcase. He has been a wine lover for over 30 years, and has a fondness for Italian reds, although don’t ask his opinion on the Barolo Wars. On his travels he has tasted a great many wines. Some good, some bad, and some that should never have been sold for human consumption.
Original from May 3rd 2017, update: May 3rd 2019