The Wine Society's Wedding and Party Planning Guide
Finding the perfect wines for a wedding or party can and should be an enjoyable experience. The Wine Society is able to offer personal and experienced advice, whatever the occasion or budget.
This guide covers the services offered by The Society, as well as advice on how to find the right amounts of the right wines for your special event.
The Society's experienced and knowledgeable Wine Advisers are on hand to help you: from helping to choose the perfect sparkling wine or Champagne to serve as a toast to picking party wines that will suit a specific menu.
We can also assist with quantities and arrange delivery to your chosen venue – everything to make your wine selection for your wedding day or special event as enjoyable and easy as possible.
Simply contact The Society's Wine Advisers on 01438 741177, via our online enquiry form or visit the Cellar Showroom in Stevenage and we'll be pleased to help.
Online Food & Wine Advice
If your menu is finalised, The Society's Food & Wine Matcher is a useful place to look: simply select your course and price range, and it will bring up a variety of bottles that will complement what you will be eating.
The team at our Cellar Showroom in Stevenage is experienced in helping members select wines for weddings or other large functions. To help members find the perfect wines, the Showroom offers tastings on site with an experienced member of staff. For more information and advice on which wines can be tasted, please e-mail the Showroom team.
Members may borrow trays of glasses from The Showroom for parties and large gatherings at no charge.
More information on glass hire
Sale or Return
Orders of large quantities of wine for weddings and other celebrations may be made on a sale or return basis.
More information on sale or return
Free UK Delivery Options
Delivery to any one address in the UK is free for:
- one or more of The Society's pre-selected mixed cases;
- At least 6 bottles (exclusions apply) which can be selected by the member to make up a mixed case. PLEASE NOTE: We are currently trialling free six-bottle delivery. 12 bottles are our standard minimum for free delivery.
- goods worth £75 or more.
We aim to deliver within four working days. Delivery can be to your home or the venue for your event.
More information on delivery options
How much wine should I provide?
The average guest will consume about one to two drinks per hour, though it is advisable to order slightly more than you think you will need for the sake of caution. For large orders, The Society is able to accommodate a sale or return policy.
To work out how much wine you may need, bear in mind the following numbers:
- One 75cl bottle of table wine yields six generous glasses with food.
- One 75cl bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine yields six generous aperitif measures, or eight measures for a toast.
- One 75cl bottle of dessert or sweet wine yields ten generous measures.
The exception to the rule is Vintage Port, which throws a sediment, meaning that some of the volume will be lost. This varies, but a safe assumption is that one 75cl bottle will yield eight measures.
Every party is different, but if working to a typical scenario of an aperitif hour followed by sit-down meal, we recommend working to the following quantities:
Allow two and a half glasses per guest of the aperitif wine, as people tend to be thirstier at the beginning of the party. If you are having photographs taken, it may well be wise to allow for more, as this process can often take longer than anticipated.
- The meal
Allow three and a half glasses of wine per guest during these two hours (just over half a bottle each).
- The toast
Allow one measure per guest. One 75cl bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine should provide eight measures for a toast.
Which wines to choose?
'A good wedding wine (or party wine) should combine usability (crowd pleasing), authenticity (reflect its style precisely) and value.'
Pierre Mansour (Society buyer)
Once you have worked out how much wine and how many wines you will need, the enjoyable process of selecting the wines themselves can begin.
We find that preferences for red and white wines tend to be fairly even, and normally advise working on a ratio of 60% red and 40% white. The weather may also determine what people will drink more of. If the event is in summer for instance, it may be worth working to a 50-50 ratio.
Champagne of course is the traditional choice, particularly for toasts, and The Society stocks an excellent range covering a wide variety of prices. There are several delicious alternatives, such as Crémant de Loire, not to mention English sparkling wine..
Ideally, a white wine for an event should be crisp, refreshing and in most cases unoaked. For this reason, a popular choice is sauvignon blanc: many Chilean examples provide excellent value and a good New Zealand sauvignon offers an easy going and citric style, which is very popular.
The Society's range also includes a great deal of White Burgundy that can serve as a crowd pleasing and stylish white. A dry riesling can be an excellent choice, providing crisp refreshment and versatility when standing up to food. Pinot grigio represents the safest Italian option to many, but there are many delicious wines from lesser-known grapes that do the job at least as well, such as fiano.
It is essential that the red be soft and smooth, without too much acidity or tannin intruding on the wine's fruitier flavours. Chilean merlot ticks all the boxes, while classic choices include Beaujolais, Rioja or young-drinking Claret. The Society stocks a good range of well-priced examples of each, including our popular own-label bottlings.
At the more full-bodied end of the scale, Australian shiraz and Argentine malbec are particularly popular now, while many Languedoc-Roussillon reds provide fantastic quality for the money.
Get in touch
We hope that you find the above useful. If you require more information or advice, Member Services' experienced team of Wine Advisers are here to help.
They can also arrange delivery to your chosen venue - everything to make your wine selection for your Wedding Day or special event as enjoyable and easy as possible. Contact them on 01438 741177 or via our online enquiry form.