If there ever was a good time to buy a ton of wine, your wedding is it. But rather than wreaking havoc on your wedding budget by shelling out a ton for each bottle or just buying the cheapest of the cheap bottles that’ll make your guests cringe at first sip, we’ve got some expert recommendations from Mike Isabella Concepts beverage director Taha Ismail. Not only will these wines save you some money, they’ll taste good too.
What Wines to Buy (from left to right)
1. San Pietro Pinot Grigio ($11)*
“A dry, light, crisp and refreshing selection perfect for a standing reception,” says Ismail.
2. Grayson Cellars Cabernet ($11)
“This medium-to-full-bodied Cab goes well with richer foods. Go with it if you have a lot of people choosing the steak option for dinner,” says Ismail.
3. Chateau Montaud Rosé ($11)
“This is dry for a rosé, and, with notes of rose petal, similar to the rosés from Provence,” says Ismail. “It’s nice for early-summer events.”
4. Angeline Pinot Noir ($11)
“This California Pinot is medium-bodied and a bit fruit-forward. It’s great with food,” says Ismail.
5. Marqués de Riscal Próximo Rioja ($9)
“Rioja is one of my favorites, and this one is medium-bodied with a lot of fruit,” says Ismail. “It’s right with everything—fish, steak, standing around.”
*All prices from Potomac Wines & Spirits
Where to Shop
“Ace Beverage (3301 New Mexico Ave., NW) will buy back any unopened, un-chilled leftover bottles after the celebration. Their staff is really easy to work with no matter your level of wine knowledge,” says Ismail. “Potomac Wines & Spirits (3100 M St., NW) has a large selection of wine choices that are really reasonably priced.”
How Much to Buy
Assuming you are offering other drink options, Ismail recommends a two-to-one ratio of people to wine bottles. “Aim for an average of four beverages per person over the course of the evening,” he says. “Of course, you’ll want to pick up a few extra bottles for bridesmaid planning powwows.”
How Much to Spend
“You can find good bargain wines in the range of $8 to $12—I wouldn’t count on spending less than that,” says Ismail. “I do think you can get an acceptable wine in the $6-to-$10 range when you buy in bulk.”
What to Splurge On
“A classic celebratory bottle of bubbles, like Ruinart Rosé Champagne (around $80),” says Ismail. Buy it when you purchase your wedding wine, then open on your first anniversary.