Being in the wine sales industry for more than 8 years, I have encounter many wedding couples asking me these questions: "how to choose my wedding wines?", "red wines or white wines?", "how many bottles of wines should i buy?" and many many more questions. Let me answer them 1 by 1 and hope you find my recommendations and suggestions useful.
How to choose my wedding wines?
Different food goes with different wine to bring out the best of both worlds. Example: If you are serving western cuisine, i would recommend to go with a heavy bodied wines like Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon from South america like Chile as they are heavier to go with your steak and lambs to break down the fattiness in the food. Look at it as wines are the chinese tea when you have your dimsum.
And If you are having chinese cuisine, i would recommend to go with something medium bodied, sweeter, fruitier wine like the Australian Cabernets or in general most merlots goes well with most 7-10 courses chinese cuisine (fish, chicken, abalone, scallops....etc).
Buy wines from suppliers that are not available in supermarkets and your guests would not be comparing to the value of the wines that you are serving them. especially when supermarkets are doing sale, many times a bottle of wine can go below $12!
Other factors can also be the type of guests that you are inviting, budget, dinner or lunch, casual or formal. Lastly wines are very individual and 1 man's poison can be another man's meat.
Red wines or white wines? (or sparkling even?)
The weather in Singapore is a big deciding factor for your selection. Especially if you are having a lunch wedding/reception. Your guests would definitely want something refreshing and what better way to serve them some well chilled whites or sparkling wines to beat the heat.
Dinner wedding the hot demand is definitely reds and whites or sparklings if you are having a reception before the actual dinner to activate those palates for the sumptuous dinner.
Outdoor Lunch: 90% whites 10% reds
Indoor Lunch: 70% whites 30% reds
Outdoor Dinner: 60% reds 40% whites
Indoor Dinner: 80% reds 20% whites, 100% reds are recommended as well
How many bottles of wines should i buy?
1 bottle of wine usually can pour up to 8 glasses depending on the glassware used at the venue. I would recommend an estimate of 1.5 to 2 bottles of wines per table if you are serving other alcohol like beers or spirits. 2 to 3 bottles per table if you are serving only wines and other non-alcoholic drinks.
Weekend weddings will see more guests drinking so increases another 20-30% would be sufficient.
Consignment or none consignment?
Usually when you ask for consignment or returnable orders, the price usually are marked up slightly with a certain margins to cover their restocking fees which are not reveal to you. And when you do buy none consignment wines, suppliers usually are more than willing to negiotate on the prices. Leftover wines can be packed and store away in the storeroom for up to 12 months without direct sunlight and use it during your next christmas party, house warming party & CNY party or just a chill-out session under the moonlight.
Hope that the information provided here will help you make your selection easier.
Kelvin Loke - firstname.lastname@example.org