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Feb 23, 2007 08:10 PM

budget wine for a summer wedding

im lucky enough to be getting married to the love of my life next july in an outdoor ceremony in vermont. were trying not to break the bank, but like good wine, so im looking for recommendations of good bottles at affordable prices. were looking for a red and a white, under $10/ea for sure, and if possible in the $5-7 range. the meal will be buffet style - garlic-y kebabs of lamb and chicken, lots of summer produce (tomatoes, grilled corn), some middle eastern stuff (hummus, baba ghanoush), and pie for desert. we will likely not serve champagne, neither of us like it much.

for what we want to pay, i'm guessing spain is a good bet and thinking rioja/temperanillo and albarino, but i'm very open to other ideas. any good pairings, budget bottles, or tips on getting cheap wine would be more than appreciated.


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  1. i'll take a crack at a reco...have you thought about serving a really nice rose? the setting and the food (especially all those mediterranean flavors) seems to be perfect for a rose. it'll go really well with a wide variety of flavors.

    i'm not sure what's available in your part of the woods, so i'd recommend talking to a reputable wine store and doing some tasting. There's some really good ones from the south of France that would go well with the food you are serving.

    if not a rose, i do like your rioja and albarino tack. for my wedding, we ended up serving Falesco Vitiano (can't remember the vintage), its widely available and should go for around $8/btl. For the white, we served Meridian Chardonnay.

    Congratulations and good luck!

    12 Replies
    1. re: roehlf

      I don't know if you have a high preference to red or white, but I'd recommend some Vinho Verde (Portuguese White Wine), currently I enjoy Gazella Brand, and its roughly 5-6$ a bottle. The stuff is delicious, especially when served cold on a summer day with BBQ styled foods.

      1. re: roehlf

        Ditto the rec for a rose. It's perfect for the food you're serving and pink looks cool and festive in the glass. Rose from France is delish, but might be out of your price range. I'd go for the Italain version (rosato) which is tastier in my opinion and more in your price range.

        If you want to stick to traditinoal white or red, go with something from Spain; it's the best region for well priced quality juice. For white, albarino is good, but I really like verdejos from Rueda. For reds, any tempranillo or grenache (garnacha) based wine will do the trick. Congrats!

        1. re: vinosnob

          Thanks for the suggestion of Rose, its a great idea. It would be a great fit, though we will have to ponder whether we want to buck the "red or white?" tradition. Might freak some people out, esp. folks who aren't much into wine.

          We're hoping to do pretty limited booze, a cocktail hour with one signature drink in pitchers (along with iced tea and lemonade) and self-serve beer and wine all night. I guess people who don't like Rose can drink beer..

          Anyhow, great idea, we will ponder it.

        2. re: roehlf

          Falesco Vitiano may be a bit heavy for this meal and this time of year. It's also a wine that's better with food than stand-alone since it's pretty hefty in the tannins department. I'd recommend Castle Rock Pinot Noir instead.

          1. re: Dr. Debs

            Castle Rock does a couple Pinots, but the one I've had in the past was just nasty. I've heard others (named for different vineyards, I think) are better. However, I'm really looking for under $10 and don't think any of these apply.

          2. re: roehlf

            For good deals, you might want to check out Table and Vine in Northampton. It would be a bit of a drive, but they have a super experienced staff there, and I expect the $ you save would more than cover gas. Plus Northampton is a fun place to spend an afternoon. They have a website, and have been great about corresponding with me in advance about what might fit my needs. We live in the Albany, NY area and drive out there a couple of times a year to load up on wine.

            I think you’ll have no problem finding a nice Tempranillo in that price range, and I also second the recommendation to have some Vinho Verde from the albarino grape - low in alcohol and lightly effervescent – perfect for a summer afternoon.

            1. re: meg944

              I should clarify – not all vinho verdes are made from albarino but there are a number of good ones available, so you'd have no trouble finding one.

              1. re: meg944

                I hadn't thought of them, but I used to live in that area, and they are a great store. I'll check out their website, thanks for the tip! It would be a fun trip for me for sure - I have some good friends in that area so we could do a wine tasting / wine buying trip.

                1. re: andytee

                  I actually just got an email that they are going to be closing the Northampton store in April and opening an expanded and updated version of their West Springfield location in May. It does sound nice - tasting room, etc. And for a July wedding, you should have plenty of time.

                  1. re: andytee

                    FYI, my husband happened to be in the area yesterday and stopped in at the Table and Vine store. As they are closing this weekend, they had a section of wines on sale for 25% off, or 50% off by the case, as well as other discounts. He bought some things, and we plan to go back together during the week to see if there is anything else we want to add to our cellar. If you are able to swing it, you might really be able to get some wedding wines at a great price.

                    1. re: meg944

                      that sounds perfect.. however, i just called them and thew person i spoke to on the phone confirmed that they were closing the northampton store (this saturday being their last day open) but said that they were not having any sort of closeout sale.

                      still, i cant imagine they would want to move all of their inventory, and wonder if perhaps they are just not advertising the sale in order to avoid a frenzy.

                      if anyone in the area has more info, id love to know more - i would be thrilled to drive out and visit some old friends and get a good deal on some wine.

                      1. re: andytee

                        He was just there yesterday. The discounted prices aren't showing on their website or anything, but for example, he got 3 bottle of Pommery Brut Apanage (listed at $44) for $16 each. (Incidentally, a nice deal at $16, but definitely not worth $44 in my mind.) He picked up a couple of other random things I can't remember off-hand, but there definitely were some deals. If you have friends in the area, maybe they can swing by and scout it out for you?

              2. Look up the local wineries web sites. Most wineries have a wine of the month or sell thier wine cheaper when purchased in bulk. A great red with lamb is Chambourcin. It has a great bold taste, dry, and very flavorable paired with lamb. It normally runs about $8-$10 a bottle.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jyman

                  Thanks, but I live in Boston and the idea of scoping "local" wineries for a sale just seems like it might not be the best idea.

                2. Get a bubbly also... try any good Moscato d'Asti... they'll come in the mid-teens and be well worth it for you and your guests... a great summer wine also.

                  As for an easy-sipping white, reasonably priced, your dollar will go farthest with a riesling.

                  For the red, go with something rich... cabernet, merlot, shiraz, zinfandel... whatever your wine supplier recommends in your price range.

                  1. For reds, consider Di Majo Norante sangiovese or Bogle zinfandel. For a good cheap white, the 2005 Varner Foxglove is pretty nice.

                    1. How about a Torrontes for the white? Light, aromatic, less than $10 is easy to find, whereas an Albarino under 10 that isn't completely unbalanced is hard to find.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jasmurph

                        Any one in particular you would reccomend? I havent drank a lot of Torrontes..

                        1. re: andytee

                          I've been drinking Torrontés "Plata", La Rioja 2006 for a couple of weeks now.