Singaporebrides | Essentials

August 2016

How to Choose Your Wedding Wines

Because wedding wines will definitely raise spirits at your celebration! We answer your questions on how much wine to buy for your wedding, which kinds to serve, and how to pair wines to your wedding menu, with help from wine expert Barworks Wine & Spirits.

While you may have spent months agonising over the style of your wedding dress, the design of your individual place cards, or the exact shades of your flowers, most of your guests will have only vague memories of all those details. What they’ll remember is how good a time they had at your wedding.

Since everybody took time off to celebrate with you, you want them to enjoy themselves. The best way to create a good time? Open a bar for your guests. Keep everyone in good spirits with a well-stocked bar, and complement your carefully selected menu too.

Selecting the perfect wines for your wedding can be difficult, when there are so many factors to consider. Should you buy red or white wines, or both? How much wine do you need? Which wines pair best with your menu? We tap on Barworks Wine & Spirits’ expertise to answer your wedding wine questions.

1. Should we source for our own wines, or select from our wedding venue’s house pours?

Most hotels and restaurants offer a selection of house wines that you can serve at your wedding. However, if you’re particular about the quality of wine, or about having the best complement to your wedding menu, buying your own wines may be the better option. “By sourcing and securing their own wines, couples are better able to find a perfect pairing for their wedding banquet while securing better pricing,” advises Ms. Irene Tan from Barworks Wine & Spirits.

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2. How much wedding wine do we need?

It depends on your guests, when you’re holding your celebration, and whether you’re serving other types of alcohol. Ms Tan tells us that the amount of wine needed also depends on whether the wedding falls on a weekday or on a weekend. “For weddings on Fridays and Saturdays, the wine consumption for a table of 10 guests is approximately 1.5 to 2 bottles, and 1 to 1.5 bottles on weekdays and Sundays,” shares Ms Tan. Adjust the figures if you know your guests to be good drinkers, and order slightly more than you think you need.

“Find a wine supplier who provides consignment services to avoid the issue of over-ordering or the embarrassment of having insufficient wine,” she advises. Barworks Wine & Spirits offers couples a consignment scheme of 50%. For example, if you need 24 bottles of wine, only 12 bottles are payable upfront, and the rest will be charged only if they are consumed, while you are free to return unopened bottles. Delivery and collection of the bottles will be handled by Barworks Wine & Spirits.

If you’re serving both red and white wines, you’ll need to factor their ratio into your purchase too. Ms Tan advises a wedding dinner ratio of 70% red to 30% white, and a 60% red to 40% white for luncheons. An outdoor event or a lunch reception usually calls for more white wine, as guests prefer a chilled drink then.

3. Besides wine, what other types of alcohol should we serve?

If you’re planning on offering a full bar, you would be serving a mix of beer, white and red wines, and a host of liquors and mixers. The usual beverage consumption ratio is 20% liquor, 15% beer and 65% wine. Many couples serve a wine and beer bar only for simplicity’s sake, and the ratio for consumption is typically 20% beer and 80% wine, though this also depends on your guests’ preferences.

how to choose wedding wines

4. Is it cheaper to buy our own wedding wines?

Your wedding alcohol can make up 20% of your total wedding banquet bill, so it’s definitely worth comparing the cost of supplying your own wedding wines to that of serving your venue’s house pours. Most venues only offer a curated selection of pours, so you are more likely to find a wine that suits your budget and your tastes in the wide range that a wine supplier would carry. “Most wedding wine wholesalers have an extensive wine list that has been exclusively selected and competitively priced,” says Ms Tan.

She cautions couples not to forget possible corkage fees from venue operators, however. “The corkage fee is a service charge applied for storing and chilling bottles, staff serving the wines, use of glassware, potential breakages and disposal of glass bottle,” she explains. Ask your venue about corkage fees, and include them when weighing the costs of supplying your own wine.

5. How do we choose which wedding wines to serve?

Too much choice could confuse your guests, so choose one red and one white wine that pairs well with your menu, and serve those throughout your banquet. “For a Western banquet, a red wine like a malbec or shiraz, which are heavier in character, will pair well with meat dishes like beef and lamb,” shares Ms Tan. “White wines like chardonnay will be suitable for white meats and seafood. For Chinese banquets, red wines such as cabernet sauvignon or merlot should go well with fish and chicken. For the white wine choice, sauvignon blanc pairs well with the chicken, seafood and vegetables dishes served in Chinese banquets.” Besides champagne, moscato or prosecco also work well for toasts.

The best way to decide which wines to serve is definitely to taste first! Go for a wine tasting such as the free one offered by Barworks Wine & Spirits one Saturday every month, where you get to try four white wines and four reds. RSVP for one of the 12 limited slots per tasting session. Look for wines that are easy to drink and that appeal to a wide crowd. When you’ve shortlisted your favourites, buy a bottle each home, and ask your friends and family for their opinions, to see if your choices please the general palate.

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Barworks Wine & Spirits is located at Blk 18 Sin Ming Lane, #05-09 Midview City, Singapore 573960. Contact them at +65 6534 1995 or sales@barworks.com.sg / irene@barworks.com.sg to find out more about wedding wines.


Credits: Images courtesy of Barworks Wine & Spirits.