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Need advice for some inexpensive wedding wine and bubblies!

I just proposed to my GF of many many years and with luck have it, she said YES!

We have set our date, which is roughly about 18 months away. We already pretty much have our venue, caterer and all the good stuff planned out.

What I really need help is some advice for some good ole cheap wine. At the pace we are going, we will blow by our budget pretty soon. I'd like to keep wines and the sparkling under $15. It won't hurt to be under $10, but I don't want it to taste cheap and rancid...

I will have access to anything within the SF, South Bay and wine country. I wouldn't mind any recommendations that I can pick up at K&L since it is really close by. Nothing online since I don't want to incur any freight cost.

The wedding will have about 200 guest. The food will be the standard salad and the entree will have an Asian theme (chicken/steak/vegetarian). I'm not sure about the hors d'oeuvres but it doesn't really matter since we also have an open bar during cocktail hour.

Wedding will take place late August or early September if it plays into anything.

Thanks in advance for any of your input!

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  1. In the under-$15 price range, you can't beat Gruet. I prefer the rosé but the brut is good too.


    For a red, the 5L box of Marc Plouzeau Chinon is hard to beat, works out to $6.75 per 750ml but compares favorably with $15-20 bottles.


    For a white, the Blason Pinot Grigio that K&L imports directly is a great value. Sometimes they have it or something similar from Blason in a box.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Here's an enthusiastic second for the Gruet. For the price, it can't be beat! The only one we don't like is the Demi-sec. Too sweet for our tastes. For a wedding, I would endorse the Rose. It's pretty pink makes it just look like a party. And it tastes good, too.

      1. re: ChefJune

        We served the Gruet Rose at our wedding last year, and the guests raved about it. I keep a couple of bottles in the fridge and open them whenever the occasion calls for some bubbles, and I'm always reminded of wonderful wedding memories. Good stuff.

    2. If you have access to K&L I'd ask them. With a guest list of 200, they will probably be able to give you a good recommendation and a good price. Figuring you will need about 5 cases of each, they would be able to factor in a discount anyway and bring the price down. I've always found them great to work with.

      1. We had Kenwood Yalupa Cuvee Brut, for my daughter's wedding toast, and everyone had very good comments for it. Not expensive, and remember not everyone will drink it anyway. Some will just take a sip and leave the rest no matter what you spend.

        1. First off, congratulations!

          Gruet Blanc is good for the price. Piper Sonoma Select Cuvee Brut and Select Cuvee Blanc de Blanc are nice for around $11. K&L or Wine Club may have a sparkling Vouvray in your price range as well.

          Enjoy your party.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sailing77

            Thank you.

            I'll heed everyone's advice and try out Gruet and maybe a bottle of Blason.

            Looking for some more input on bottles of white and red. I don't thik I can go the box route if I have a few bottles on each table ;)


            1. re: cristenen

              Ask at K&L about their direct imports, they're usually unbeatable in their price ranges. They bring I think eight bottled Blason wines. I think the Les Paradis Chinon is another of their direct wines.

          2. The Laurens Brut Cremant de Limoux at K&L is a pretty good bang for the buck.
            Go to K&L and ask them to recommend some of cheaper sparklers and give them a try. See what you like. There's some tasty Italian and Spanish sparkling wines that are pretty good.
            I had an awesome Spanish cava I picked up with The Spanish Table in Berkeley, but it was something like $18.
            The Spanish Table is on San Pablo Avenue and also on San Pablo Avenue, but in Albany, is Oddlots, which specializes in wines $8 to $15.
            For non-sparkling wine for Asian food, consider wine from Germany, Austria or the Alsace. Again, I'd go to K&L and see what they have in stock shortly before your wedding. There's plenty of good riesling, silvaner, pinot blanc and pinot gris for less than $15 a bottle.

            5 Replies
              1. re: omotosando

                I'm wondering if it's Segura Viudas' Opera? That's the top of their line, and it's awesome -- and not just "for the price."

                1. re: ChefJune

                  You mean Aria? That's $12. Their top of the line is Heredad, $23.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    no-- got the higher end name confused with someone else's. Last time we got the Heredad it was $17.99

            1. Gloria Ferrer Brut is about as good as you will get under $15.

              1. I find that more and more people on my food tours in Florence are turning to Prosecco vs. Champagne for weddings. It's cheaper, easy to drink and delicious. You should get it from the Valdobbiadene region (it's in the Veneto, northern Italy) since they produce the BEST prosecco in Italy. Total Wine in the US has some good ones for 10-15 usd per bottle. xoxo, C. (www.florenceinsider.com)

                7 Replies
                1. re: florenceinsider

                  There are some great bubbles from South Africa available made in the traditional method of champagne. Graham Beck Brut Rose Method Champenoise always a crowd favorite

                  1. re: florenceinsider

                    We find most Prosecco too sweet for our tastes. Prefer Cava, or American methode champenoise when looking for a less expensive alternative to Champagne.

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I agree. I recently bought a few bottles of Sorelle Bronca Prosecco Extra Dry ($15), which my local wine store was touting, and found it way too sweet. To make it more enjoyable, I actually made it sweeter by mixing it with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur -- essentially making it into a frou frou cocktail.

                      1. re: omotosando

                        You probably already know this, but I just wanted to point out that Extra Dry is a misnomer. There can be up to 17 grams of sugar per liter in Extra Dry bubbles, making it sweeter, and sometimes much sweeter, than Brut.

                        Prosecco ranges from super dry to sweet. There is not one definitive style WRT sugar.

                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                          "Extra Dry" vs. "Brut" makes perfect sense in French . . . it loses in the translation.

                    2. re: florenceinsider

                      don't forget to look at French cremants or mousseaux -- French sparklers, but not produced in the Champagne region, so cannot be called Champagne (but still produced by methode champenoise).

                      There are lots of them that I prefer to mass-produced Champagne.