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Trader's: buying wine for a wedding reception

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Dear hounds,
we are trying to stay within a reasonable budget and are thinking of buying our own wine. Can you please give us some suggestions on what to choose for red and white- we thought Trader's prices are good, but we would welcome other suggestions. Costco?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I suggest to you that it doesn't matter what you buy and serve.

    At a wedding recption, people are not looking for a wine tasting event or for fine dinig featuring the 'perfect' accompanying wine. Those that will be drinking wine are hoping that you have a choice of white zinfandel, red or white.

    Unless a substantial portion of your guests are oenophiles (and even these are quite tolerant of wedding reception offerings) honestly no one cares what you are serving.

    1. I would seek out a local, reputable wine merchant. They will have a better selection that TJ's or Cost Co; especially in terms of carrying Spanish and South American wines which offer great value.

      Perhaps your guests don't care what they drink, but I'm guessing you do care which is why you posed the question.

      1 Reply
      1. re: vinosnob

        "I would seek out a local, reputable wine merchant. They will have a better selection that TJ's or Cost Co; especially in terms of carrying Spanish and South American wines which offer great value."

        I couldn't agree more.

      2. I agree with Frank. Have a red, white, and a white zin (not much of this though). One wedding we used 1.5L bottles of Woodbridge, another we ended up with 1.5L of LIttle Penguin. Personally I thought the Woodbridge was the better of the two. A local wine celebrity recommended the Woodbridge to me.

        1. For my wedding, we used Babich Sauvignon Blanc and Coppola Claret. Both of these wines retail about $13 in my area (RI), before case discount.

          Neither of these wines will knock your socks off, but they're consistently good and very budget-friendly.

          The Babich goes pretty well with most simple seafood dishes and the Coppola does the same with most red meats.


          1. The thought of serving white zinfandel at a wedding.... that just sounds like a bad omen...

            Instead of the white zin, serve a riesling instead... the 2005 vintage in Germany is uniformly nice, and you can find all the very nice, highly drinkable wine you want for under 15 a bottle...

            So, consider riesling as your white wine.... then also serve a bubbly of some sort... champagne, cava, or my personal "budget" favorite: moscato d'Asti...

            Lastly, have a soft red on hand.... merlot or cabernet are usually well received...

            A red wine that I often find to be exceptional value in the 15 to 25 a bottle range is a high-end Valpolicella... there's a posting on another thread re Zenato's Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa which is a delicious well-made soft red.... in any event, ask your vendor for the most interesting reds they have within your price range.

            1. I COMPLETELY agree with vinosnob. Go ino the best local wine store around -- preferably one with a big Spanish and Southern Italian section. Tell them how much you want to spend. If you are buying just a couple of cases, they should take 10%-15% off. If you are buying 5+ cases there is a good chance you can negotiate for a better deal, especially ifthe wine you are buying is readily available.

              If you post what city you live in we may even be able to direct you to a good wine store!

              1. I think a good question is how many people will you be serving and what you consider "reasonable". If you are serving 300 people, 15-20 a bottle might not be reasonable.

                Also, you would be surprised how many older people still like white zin.

                3 Replies
                1. re: WyCo

                  Younger people like it too. White zin is still the 2nd most popular wine in America.

                  C'mon guys, $13 a bottle? Compared to $6 for a 1.5 (two bottles)? Even with a discount...

                  As sort of indicated in my first post, we should keep in mind that people who ask for wine advice from strangers do not travel in circles where people know wine. Other than that, galka could have asked a friend.

                  As for serving riesling, again my point is that most people (and that includes people at most wedding receptions including this one) are not familiar with Riesling. Most people want what they eat and drink to be something they are familiar with. (Remember, not you and I - most people)

                  Your guests will not care if you serve them the best Riesling in the world. Because they are not familiar with the Riesling taste profile, it may be perceived as not as good, because to them, it will not taste like the white wines they have drunk their whole lives.

                  Again, in a differnt circumstance, this could be a good experience, opening them to the wonderful world of wines. At a wedding reception it can mean "What was that white wine galka had? I think it had gone bad Didn't taste like any wine I ever had"

                  Again, i don't say it will, I say it may. If that's a chance you are willing to take (and of course, it will cost extra to take that chance)...

                  1. re: FrankJBN

                    I'd be embarrassed to serve a $6 magnum at my wedding (or anywhere else, for that matter).

                    Also, the general public is learning more and more about wine and a 1.5 of Woodbridge garbage just doesn't cut the mustard. There are plenty of delicious wines for every budget.

                    1. re: FrankJBN

                      I don't really think I'm a wine snob, but White Zin isn't really wine, but grapey soda with alcohol, for those who don't like to drink wine. I was started as a marketer's response to a winery's screwup, and never got any better. If you want something pink, why nort go with an inexpensive Provencal Rose. there are plenty of nice ones for less than $10 a bottle, some for 6-7 per.

                  2. If you want to serve champagne, call your good local wine store and ask about getting a 6 liter or 9 liter bottle to serve at the reception. This serves a lot of people (the math is easy), it looks awesome at the reception, and it is definitely celebratory. Afterward, keep the bottle, and fill it with coins in a corner of your house as a memento.

                    Some of them are surprisingly good deals for the volume of wine you get, don't freak out that it's "just one bottle".

                    The other comments regarding "a red, a white, and a white zin" (the white zin is really for people who don't like wine) are dead on; but for me personally, I love ChicagoMike's comments.

                    1. If you are trying to buy less expensive wines, and you'll want them not to be wonderful wines but agreeable to almost anyone. As far as buying them, a wine merchant that sells be the case should be your best bet. But find one that has a larger operation.

                      What wines? For white, my wine of choice for all parties is to buy a Moscato D'Asti. It is an Italian white, made from muscat grapes, sweet but not that or too sweet, normally slightly effervescnet, lower in alcohol, and to everyone who I have serve dit to, it jsut worked. It's my wine for having a bunch of people.

                      For red wines, I'm less particular. Not that long ago, I used cases of Red Truck from Cline, which you can find for less than $100 a case. Much like a Moscato D'Asti, it's not wonderful stuff, but it is agreeable. No one loves it or hates it. Spanish of South American reds might give you another good choice. It's easy to find reds for less than $10 from either, and the reds are agreeable. A Spanish Tempranillo or Rioja might be my choice.

                      1. What's your location, Galka?