May 11, 2022 2 min read

Wines for weddings

Planning an at home wedding? Or have you selected a venue that requires you to arrange your own wines? Or are you not too excited by your venue's wine list? No problem, a golden opportunity presents. Our team has worked on a wide number of weddings from the tightest of budgets to the open ended and know how to make this part of a wedding preparation exciting and stress free. Follows is the approach that we recommend:


1) Corkage

Agree corkage charge with venue. Corkage is not a charge for simply pulling the cork out of the bottle and pouring the wine, it is simply a wine supplement that is priced to reflect the style of the venue. The rate can range from €5 to €25 per bottle and up to €30 per sparkling wine. At the higher levels, it can be punitive and is priced to dissuade so working with the venues list might be necessitated. Note venues are used to heavy negotiations around this rate and if you secure a good win on this rate don’t forget to factor in water charges. Still or sparkling?


2) Best wines to choose

Our advice is to set a budget range €12-15 per bottle, €16 – 30…… This will be influenced by the corkage rate you achieve and the type of wines you want to pour. We recommend you opt for wines in the lower alcohol ranges given the lengthy duration of the festivities.  But most importantly, to arrange a tasting with us so we can help find the wine that you feel is right for you. Our key tip is to approach this as fun exercise rather than a challenge, to bring along a few friends and have a bit of fun. Our experienced team is here to guide you and to help fine tune the process. 


3) Sale or Return

How much wine to buy. The typical consumption rule of thumb is maximum half a bottle a head split 50% between red and 50% white. As most retailers offer sale or we suggest people err on the side of caution and budget for three quarters of a bottle as wedding banquets can often run for 5 – 7 hours.  For sale or return the key requirement is that the bottles are returned as they were despatched. It is important to make sure the venue doesn’t get too enthusiastic with the de-foiling of bottles, uncorking, and chilling to point labels get damaged. A quick chat with the wedding organiser and to flag that you plan to return unused and bottles is wise. It is also wise to agree a methodology for counting bottle usage and to discuss the frequency of wine tops and finally the level of pour.


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