The short answer: wines that you like. For the more detailed and hopefully more helpful answer: read on.
For many people, choosing the wine you’ll be serving at your wedding might not be as quick and easy as the standard trip to the bottle-o. You’re trying to please potentially 100+ palates and include variety so that there’s something for everyone. You’re considering the weather, matching to your menu – not to mention trying to figure out how much wine you’re actually going to need.
To begin, here are our basic pointers.
1. First and foremost, serve wines that you like. It’s your wedding and you’re buying. As with every other element on your wedding day, it’s nice to make your wine selection a reflection of what you and your partner are into. Plus, if you’re getting married at a BYO venue there’s a good chance you’ll have some leftovers, so it pays to select wines that you’ll enjoy later.
2. Don’t feel pressured into thinking you need a certain type of wine that you don’t love because you think everyone else will. E.g. just because you and your mates all drank Sauvignon Blanc religiously in your early 20s doesn’t mean that it needs a place at your wedding table, particularly if you don’t drink so much of it now.
3. Provide a simple mix of sparkling, white/rosé and red. Our suggested ratio? One sparkling, two whites (or a white and a rosé) and two reds. That’s enough choice for people – it keeps things easy and there’s sure to be something that everyone gravitates to.
4. Consider the weather… but don’t let it influence your decision making too much. People are likely to drink a similar wine at your wedding that they would drink year-round. That said, you’re probably going to have more people gravitate to white and light wines during the hotter months and conversely more red drinkers in the cooler seasons. So just consider the quantities of each to reflect this.
5. Consider your menu… but leave the wine wankery for the somms. The reality is if you’ve got a red and white option, you’re going to have wines to suit whatever food you’re serving. This said, you could always chat to your caterer to see what varietals they’d recommend if you’re concerned.
We’ve partnered with the team at Grant Burge Wines (the leading Barossa winery with the most gorgeous sparkling wine bottles to grace a table).
They’ve given us some tips on what types of wine to serve at your wedding. And we felt it was our duty to pass this important info on.
On that note, let’s start with the fizz.
It’s a must-have. This is your party-starter, your toasting wine, the ideal way that many guests will want to kick off the festivities. You’re going to want a fair stock of sparkling wine. There’s something inherently celebratory about bubbles – perhaps it’s the corks popping? Whatever it is, it’s our go-to at weddings.
Our pick: Grant Burge NV Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay (rrp $30)
This is a bloody great sparkling for the price point and we would happily just sit on this all night. We’ve enjoyed this at several weddings and events and it feels very special, especially when we see the beautiful bottles sitting on a bar or a table.
Flavour-wise, think shortbread and subtle strawberry fruit following from the nose. It has a delicate, creamy mouthfeel, fine bubbles and a great natural acidity. In short, it’s very balanced and very, very drinkable.
In our experience, a lot of people steer clear of serving rosé at their wedding because they’re afraid their guests won’t go for it, or they feel that it’s a wine with a reputation for being too sweet. False on both accounts. While rosé feels a bit like the ‘it girl’ of wine right now (think of all the frosé cocktails popping up in bars), it’s a style of wine that’s been made for centuries in France and is easily enjoyed all night. We say go for it.
Our pick: Grant Burge Pinot Rosé (rrp $25)
This is a new dry-style rosé made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes. The result? A vibrant and refreshing wine that’s light with a clean and crisp finish. Not to mention the most beautiful blush shade in truly great packaging that you’ll want on display.
One of our absolute fave grapes, the Pinot Gris is well-worth a look-in for your wedding. It pairs beautifully with modern Australian cuisine, with antipasto and with anything Asian, making it super versatile. But remember what we said before about not worrying about the food match-ability? It’s delicious on its own too.
Our pick: Grant Burge East Argyle Pinot Gris (rrp $27)
Think aromas of citrus blossom, white florals, apple pie, cinnamon, chai and white pepper. Then add to that a creamy palate and natural fruit sweetness of freshly picked nashi pear, grapefruit and lemon. Sounds good right? We think so too. This one would make it onto our shortlist for sure.
It’s a grape most are familiar with that’s very popular for good reason – it’s versatile, fresh and zingy and a crowd favourite. It’s also a feast for the senses, having an almost perfumed quality about it (i.e. a wine that smells, tastes and looks darn fine).
Our pick: Thorn Eden Valley Riesling (rrp $27)
The Eden Valley area of the Barossa is renowned for producing some of Australia’s finest Riesling and this wine is a great representative of the region. It’s elegant with classic intense citrus flavour – think sweet and tangy lime and lemon accompanied by hints of grapefruit, elderflower and orange blossom water. It’s best friends with seafood and fresh canapés, but also brings down the richness of creamier dishes and curries because of its natural acidity. An all-round winner.
It’s a good choice for red lovers – a shiraz is well known, robust in mouthfeel but still fruit and berry driven, so a great choice for a wedding in terms of its ability to please the crowd.
Our pick: Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz (rrp $27)
This drop is overflowing with aromas of blood plum, raspberry and blackberries, balanced perfectly with liquorice, oak spice and vanilla sweetness. Add rolling dark chocolate tannins and some subtle oak spice to the palate and you’ve got yourself a truly delicious red.
Our other pick (OK, we couldn’t choose one): Grant Burge Filsell Shiraz (rrp $44)
This one’s a bit spesh so we had to include. The Shiraz grapes in the Filsell are from near century-old vines and is considered one of the best vineyards in the Barossa. The nose gives you plum, liquorice, raspberry, dark chocolate and vanilla. This wine has long tannins (meaning you’re going to feel it in your mouth long after the sip), balanced by richness and sweetness of fruit. It’s a wow-your-guests kind of drop, and one that you could easily cellar the leftovers for a special occasion (perhaps future wedding anniversaries?).
Another red (something a bit different)
You’ve picked a Shiraz or something recognisable – why not team it up with something a bit unusual for your guests? The team at Grant Burge suggested a GSM (a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvédre) and we’re very much here for this idea.
Our pick: Grant Burge The Holy Trinity GSM (rrp $44)
It’s a traditional blend for the Barossa Valley, meaning the winemakers know what they’re doing. Expect vibrant flavours of fresh red fruits and vanilla, complemented by the fine and ripe tannins that run the length of your palate (that is, you’re going to feel this baby all over your tongue). It’s a rich and elegant, sweet and savoury wine that is welcome at any wedding of ours.
A fortified wine
We’re throwing this in because we love an after-dinner drink. There’s something so indulgent and special about sipping on a fortified wine after a meal, or as a special toast. Whether it’s a tawny, a muscat or a topaque, it’s a little bit of a novelty which means it’s going to be a memorable party of the night for you and your guests.
Our pick: Grant Burge 10 Year Old Muscat (rrp $35)
This is like a drinkable dessert. Think caramel, raisin, dates, baked ginger biscuits. Our suggestion? Serve it with your wedding cake or dessert bar for something memorable and unique.
Total disclaimer: we’ve partnered with Grant Burge Wines to help more couples discover their great range of wines but we’re not making a dime through any affiliate program. We just think that they’re a really solid producer of beautiful wines set at a very attractive price point.
Unsure of how much wine you’re going to need for your wedding? Read our guide.