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Food and Cakes

Beer and wine

So for our wedding we've decided to serve beer and wine, along with the lemonade, tea, and soda our caterer is providing. We've got two bartenders lined up to serve since the caterer charges an arm and a leg to provide and serve. I want to start buying the wines we're going to have since they'll be fine to sit in our basement til the wedding (beginning of July). Question is what varieties of wine and beer should we have?

Wine I'm thinking of having a mixed case of fruit wines (apple, blackberry, etc), and three cases each of red and white wines for a total of 7 cases of wine. What white and red wines are popular with you guys?

Beer I'm thinking of two 24pks of three different kinds of beer (total of 144 beers). Corona will be a definite since I know so many of my guests drink that. We're considering Bud Light and/or Coors Light, but not sure what else to pick.

The amounts I listed are based on several online calculators for a five hour reception and 100 people. If we have 100% attendance we will have 80 adults of drinking age at the wedding. My fiance doesn't think this is going to be enough because when his friends party at the lake they burn through alcohol like crazy. My opinion is that this isn't a frat party and that they should be adult enough to behave themselves - and if the beer/wine runs out then there's non alcoholic options for them. Is this being a bad hostess? 

Sorry for the long post - but everyone in my circles has either had a dry wedding or done a full open bar so I'm a little lost.
KnotRiley

Re: Beer and wine

  • indigo26 said:

    So for our wedding we've decided to serve beer and wine, along with the lemonade, tea, and soda our caterer is providing. We've got two bartenders lined up to serve since the caterer charges an arm and a leg to provide and serve. I want to start buying the wines we're going to have since they'll be fine to sit in our basement til the wedding (beginning of July). Question is what varieties of wine and beer should we have?

    Wine I'm thinking of having a mixed case of fruit wines (apple, blackberry, etc), and three cases each of red and white wines for a total of 7 cases of wine. What white and red wines are popular with you guys?

    Beer I'm thinking of two 24pks of three different kinds of beer (total of 144 beers). Corona will be a definite since I know so many of my guests drink that. We're considering Bud Light and/or Coors Light, but not sure what else to pick.

    The amounts I listed are based on several online calculators for a five hour reception and 100 people. If we have 100% attendance we will have 80 adults of drinking age at the wedding. My fiance doesn't think this is going to be enough because when his friends party at the lake they burn through alcohol like crazy. My opinion is that this isn't a frat party and that they should be adult enough to behave themselves - and if the beer/wine runs out then there's non alcoholic options for them. Is this being a bad hostess? 

    Sorry for the long post - but everyone in my circles has either had a dry wedding or done a full open bar so I'm a little lost.

    I agree with your FI that it doesn't sound like enough for 100 people, at least with the beer. And not because people "can't behave themselves" (which honestly sounds pretty judgy to me), but if you're planning a full dinner and reception that's roughly 5 hours. For a drink an hour if only half your adult guests are drinking beer you would need 200 beers. I think as long as you have a variety of types (ales, lagers, light beer) I think you're good if you get more.

    Additionally I would suggest to add in more red and white that are on the dry side to balance out the fruit wines. They tend to be pretty sweet, which may not go over well.

    Finally, it's not really proper hosting to suggest that people will just have to drink whatever non-alcoholic beverages are left if you run out. The point of good hosting is to plan ahead and ensure you half enough of whatever you are choosing to host for the entire time.
    [Deleted User]
  • Oh I'm not denying being rather judgy in that comment. I've personally seen one group of his friends drink so much that they're vomiting in the lake every weekend this past summer. They're lovely people when they're not totally trashed, but I don't want them getting trashed at our wedding.

    I have no problem providing enough beer and wine so our guests can have fun and have a good time. I'll up the beer count - any particular brands that are crowd pleasers? What kinds of white and red wines would you suggest? The only wines I drink are sweet so I don't know what is "good" on the dry side of things. 
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is a pretty good middle-of-the-road choice for red. Chardonnay is a pretty common white, but can be polarizing. Go for an unoaked one if you pick it. Pinot Grigio is a nice light but not too sweet white. I used to be all about the sweet wines (and still drink them) but nowadays I'm getting to the point where I'll happily drink just about any wine as long as it's not oaky.
    image
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm not a big drinker, and I don't care for beer at all.  However, on a warm summer night, I would enjoy a Mike's Hard Lemonade.  Could that be a consideration as one of the beer options?
  • Don't do a mixed case of fruit wines. If you only have 3 bottles of blackberry wine and one of your guests tells the rest of their table how good it is you will run out very quickly. Maybe just do a case of moscato instead?

    As for beer I would suggest at least 1 light option (bud light, miller lite, coors light).


    kimmiinthemitten
  • For white I would suggest Pinot Grigio. Another option for white, possibly in place of your fruit wines is a sweet Riesling (be careful you read the label and it is not dry- a very different taste!). Gewurtztraimer is also a sweet, light white wine (one of my favs), but will not be on the cheapest end (where as you can get a decent but cheap pinot grigio).

    I agree with Cab Sauv as your red option. 

    Chardonnay often seems the white "go-to", but I don't get it! While I will drink Chardonnay, I don't think I know anyone who says that Chardonnay is their favourite. 

    As for beer, I think Corona with either Bud or Coors is good. How about Sam Adams for the third? 
    charlotte989875
  • For reds I would do a cabarnet and a Merlot or Pinot noir. For whites do Chardonnay, even though I agree with @SP29 that I don't get why people like it. Stick to unoaked if possible. I would also suggest a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon blanc, these will be lighter, but not sweet.

    If you need brand recommendations, depending on your budget Clos du Bois are good and relatively inexpensive, as are Robert Mondavi (and come up large bottles). If these are too expensive check out yellow tail, usually a crowd pleaser. With buying wine you'll likely get a case discount so be sure to ask your liquor store if you're buying in bulk, and make sure to ask about returning unopened bottles. Many places will let you if it's something they carry regularly.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Just say no to Chardonnay.  I would go for a Riesling and a Pinot Grigio.  The fruit wines are either a hit or miss.  Not everyone loves super sweet wines and even if they do one would really need to love blueberry or pear or what have you to drink a fruit wine.

    I don't drink red wine so I can't help you there.

    As for beer, Corona, Miller Lite and maybe something a bit heavier like a Sam Adams.

    Talk to your liquor store about buying in cases for both beer and wine (you may even get a better deal if you purchase half kegs of beer instead of bottles, but again you should check with your liquor store) and ask them about their return policy for unopen bottles/cases.  If you can return unopen items then it is better to buy way more then you think you need.  Just make sure to talk to your bartenders and only have them open a case/bottle when absolutely necessary.

    And you can't control people.  So if people get trashed and throw up then they will look bad, not you.  

    SP29marriedwithpoodles
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited January 2016
    As a wine drinker and occasional wedding bartender, I'm going to advise skipping the fruit wines.  In nearly 10 years of service experience, I've never had anyone ask if that was an option.  For white I agree with the PP - if you like sweet do a Riesling or Moscato and a Pinot for the drier wine fans and for red, I'd say Cabernet and a Malbec.  Malbecs are pleasing for both Cab and Merlot drinkers usually.

    I like the suggestions above for Corona, Bud Light or Coors Light and a lager like Sam Adams.  Are locally brewed craft beers a thing in your area?  If so, consider adding one of those instead - they're huge in Michigan and probably the most drank beer at any wedding I've worked - including ones where the couple insisted they had a bug light crowd.  I think people who may not want to pay for the craft beer when they're out are oftentimes the same people who will drink it an open bar.

    Also, you can't control what your guests do.  If they drink so much they become sick, that's on them, and they're the ones feeling like shit.  But truth be told, I'll never understand the "I don't want my guests to get drunk" attitude.  I want my guests to have an amazing time, and if that means they imbibe a bit much; more power to them!  


    Edited to make the picture smaller
     
    image
    charlotte989875[Deleted User]
  • I hadn't thought of doing Mike's lemonade - I know Sam's club carries a mixed box of either Mike's or Seagram's so I'll add two of those to my list.

    So far what I'm hearing is to pick the following:
    Moscato (instead of fruit wine)
    Pinot Grigio
    Reisling

    Cabernet
    Merlot

    Is one case of Moscato and two cases each of the other four is enough? (9 cases total)

    Beer -
    three 24pks of Corona
    three 24pks of Bud Light
    two 24pks of Mike's or Seagram's mixed pack
    two 24pks of sam adams 

    That gives us 240 beers of a mixed group. 

    And yes, I know I can't control my guests - but I guess I can ask the bartenders to not overserve people to the point of guests vomiting. I'm ok with them being drunk and having a good time, but I'm just not big on walking in on people puking their guts up at the end of the night. 


  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    indigo26 said:
    I hadn't thought of doing Mike's lemonade - I know Sam's club carries a mixed box of either Mike's or Seagram's so I'll add two of those to my list.

    So far what I'm hearing is to pick the following:
    Moscato (instead of fruit wine)
    Pinot Grigio
    Reisling

    Cabernet
    Merlot

    Is one case of Moscato and two cases each of the other four is enough? (9 cases total)

    Beer -
    three 24pks of Corona
    three 24pks of Bud Light
    two 24pks of Mike's or Seagram's mixed pack
    two 24pks of sam adams 

    That gives us 240 beers of a mixed group. 

    And yes, I know I can't control my guests - but I guess I can ask the bartenders to not overserve people to the point of guests vomiting. I'm ok with them being drunk and having a good time, but I'm just not big on walking in on people puking their guts up at the end of the night. 


    First bolded, I would do Moscato or Reisling, sweet white wine drinkers will like either but both is probably overkill.

    Second bolded - yes, your bartenders job is to make sure people aren't overserved.  With that said, make sure you're hiring experienced bartenders who know how to cut off an intoxicated person and not just a friend of a friend who may be too timid to speak up.  I recommend finding someone with TIPS training.

    image
    charlotte989875
  • OP- I would do Malbec instead of Merlot, as a PP said. Merlot is also a polarizing red, as it is dry, people generally either like it or they don't. 
  • indigo26 said:
    I hadn't thought of doing Mike's lemonade - I know Sam's club carries a mixed box of either Mike's or Seagram's so I'll add two of those to my list.

    So far what I'm hearing is to pick the following:
    Moscato (instead of fruit wine)
    Pinot Grigio
    Reisling

    Cabernet
    Merlot

    Is one case of Moscato and two cases each of the other four is enough? (9 cases total)

    Beer -
    three 24pks of Corona
    three 24pks of Bud Light
    two 24pks of Mike's or Seagram's mixed pack
    two 24pks of sam adams 

    That gives us 240 beers of a mixed group. 

    And yes, I know I can't control my guests - but I guess I can ask the bartenders to not overserve people to the point of guests vomiting. I'm ok with them being drunk and having a good time, but I'm just not big on walking in on people puking their guts up at the end of the night. 


    First bolded, I would do Moscato or Reisling, sweet white wine drinkers will like either but both is probably overkill.

    Second bolded - yes, your bartenders job is to make sure people aren't overserved.  With that said, make sure you're hiring experienced bartenders who know how to cut off an intoxicated person and not just a friend of a friend who may be too timid to speak up.  I recommend finding someone with TIPS training.

    Personally I'd do either Moscato or Riesling. Both are very sweet though Moscato is typically the sweeter of the two, I feel like it's the same group of people who'd prefer both of those. I guess it's preference but to me Pinot Grigio is kind of flavorless for lack of a better word. I'd prefer an unoaked Chardonnay any day. Honestly I'd prefer an oaked Chardonnay over Pinot Grigio. Though if you eliminate either the Moscato or Riesling which I see as being pretty similar then you could add the Chardonnay. My favorite white is Sauvingnon Blanc, to me it's a mix of dry but still very fruity in flavor. You could keep the Pinot and add Sauvingnon Blanc also for the dryer choice. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm glad you guys are here to give suggestions - I only drink Moscato or fruit wines so my wine knowledge is severely lacking. I'll just drop the Reisling in favor of my favorite Moscato and I'll start looking around for Malbec too. The other flavors I know will be easy to find.

    And yes, I will be hiring a professional bartender, much to my FI's objections (he wanted two of his friends to do it). I don't want my guests to work at my wedding and I want someone who is ok cutting people off when they've had too much. 
    charlotte989875Knottie24799731
  • FWIW, here's our tentative bar menu. It sounds pretty similar to what you may be talking about.

    5 wine options: 
    2 reds - Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon
    2 whites - Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio 
    1 blush - White Zinfandel

    3 beer options:
    Bud Light
    Shiner
    A local beer of FFIL's choosing, probably an IPA . He's taking care of the bar/bartenders, and really wanted to choose one of the beers. He's a beer guy so we figured, why not? 

    2 signature cocktails... Still working out the details on this one. 

    Also, I agree with PPs. Your bartenders will know when to cut people off. I wouldn't even worry about that.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited January 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon is a pretty good middle-of-the-road choice for red. Chardonnay is a pretty common white, but can be polarizing. Go for an unoaked one if you pick it. Pinot Grigio is a nice light but not too sweet white. I used to be all about the sweet wines (and still drink them) but nowadays I'm getting to the point where I'll happily drink just about any wine as long as it's not oaky.
    I have to disagree on the Cabernet Sauvignon. It is pretty heavy and most people I know drink it when eating beef. I think a better choice would be a Pinot Noir or a Red Zin. Totally agree on the whites: unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.

    ETA spelling!
  • I wouldn't do a pinot grigio and a Riesling - IMO they can actually be really similar depending on how sweet the Riesling and pinot grigo are. I also wouldn't do a moscato and a reisling, since those could both be really sweet, depending on which reisling you choose! I will say that most Riesling drinkers I know will drink pinot grigio and most pinot grigio drinkers will settle on a Riesling if they have to, but neither would reach for a moscato. I say that as a huge Riesling fan. I'd reach for a pinot grigio over a moscato any day. (I should note that these are my observations, with my friends and fellow wine drinkers but not necessarily an accurate sampling of everyone).

    I think wine tastes are so preferential it's hard to pick something everyone will like.
     
    So I would do
    Whites
    Pinot Grigo or Reisling
    Chardonay

    (If you're doing a third option, I would do Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Moscato)

    Reds
    Cabernet Souvignaun
    Malbec

    For beer I would do coors over miller lite or bud light. According to my husband (a die hard miller lite fan) miller lite drinkers hate bud and bud drinkers hate miller, but everyone will settle on a coors if they have to.
  • @ILoveBeachMusic  - we actually are serving beef so the Cab could go well with that if they're a good pairing.

    I think as far as the white wines I may buy a bottle of Pinot, Reisling, and unoaked Chardonnay and just do a taste testing with some of our friends. I'm definitely sticking with Moscato because most of my friends and I love it (and every time I bring it to a party it disappears). So we'll just have to figure out which one or two of the other whites are liked by the group.
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • I would suggest for wines get:
    Pinot
    Moscato
    Cab Sauv

    I'd skip the fruit wines since I think most people would be happy with the regular wines.

    For beer I would suggest you could up the amount of beer by getting 1 Keg? If there is someone serving it then it won't look "college-y" and you will get more bang for your buck. Also keg beer tastes better and you could get something a bit more upscale. You could always get a nice wheat beer of some sort since most people like them.
    poodledoodleooo
  • And, also. . . . what type of food is being served at the wedding?  That can have an impact on what wines you should choose, and what might go faster at the bar.
  • @kaos16  - right now the menu is a london broil carving station, applewood BBQ pork loin, mashed potato bar with toppings, sauteed mushrooms, and a mix of squash, zucchini, and bell peppers. Plus assorted rolls/breads and the cake. Since we're having a buffet, the caterer will bring enough of both meats so that all the guests can have both if they want.
  • indigo26 said:
    @kaos16  - right now the menu is a london broil carving station, applewood BBQ pork loin, mashed potato bar with toppings, sauteed mushrooms, and a mix of squash, zucchini, and bell peppers. Plus assorted rolls/breads and the cake. Since we're having a buffet, the caterer will bring enough of both meats so that all the guests can have both if they want.
    With those offering, all of which sound tasty, I think people might lean more towards reds and stay with drier whites than sweet.  
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    kaos16 said:
    indigo26 said:
    @kaos16  - right now the menu is a london broil carving station, applewood BBQ pork loin, mashed potato bar with toppings, sauteed mushrooms, and a mix of squash, zucchini, and bell peppers. Plus assorted rolls/breads and the cake. Since we're having a buffet, the caterer will bring enough of both meats so that all the guests can have both if they want.
    With those offering, all of which sound tasty, I think people might lean more towards reds and stay with drier whites than sweet.  
    Eh, that isn't always true.  I don't drink wine because it pairs better with what I am eating.  I drink a certain type of wine because I like the wine.  I love a good Riesling and will drink that whether I am eating fish, beef, or a grilled cheese sandwich.

    labropoodledoodleooo
  • I'm the same as @Maggie0829. At a wedding, I'll probably drink what I like regardless of whats for dinner, especially since the drinking will usually continue long after dinner.

    I will add, though, that I am more likely to drink chilled whites on a hot summer day than a room-temp red, so if your wedding is in the heat of summer, I'd probably plan for slightly more white drinkers.
  • For wine, I'd go with:
    a sweet or semi-sweet Reisling (Washington Hills, Chateau Ste Michelle, Schmitt Sohne are all fairly inexpensive and good)
    a Red Zinfandel (Ravenswood or Dancing Bull are both fairly inexpensive and very good - they'll pair very will with the beef)
    For a second choice of red and white, I'd go with Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir (or Cabernet). I'd skip the Chardonnay (too dry) and the fruit wines (usually sweet an more of a specialty thing, unless there's a specific reason you planned to serve them). 

    A sparkling moscato would be excellent with your pork. 

    For beer, the Corona sounds fine, as does some sort of Bud/Miller/Coors (because of the popularity), but I'd also go with something darker (maybe Sam Adams Boston Lager if you want something easy to find) or try something that's popular locally (e.g. Shiner in TX or Yuengling in PA). 
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I still think you need more of all of your choices. Say I like Miller Lt but hate Sam Adams. I'm going to drink more than 2 Miller Lts at your reception. If you run out because everyone else also picks that, I really don't want to switch to fruit wine (I have never heard of this?) or Sam Adams. 
  • *Barbie* said:
    For wine, I'd go with:
    a sweet or semi-sweet Reisling (Washington Hills, Chateau Ste Michelle, Schmitt Sohne are all fairly inexpensive and good)
    a Red Zinfandel (Ravenswood or Dancing Bull are both fairly inexpensive and very good - they'll pair very will with the beef)
    For a second choice of red and white, I'd go with Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir (or Cabernet). I'd skip the Chardonnay (too dry) and the fruit wines (usually sweet an more of a specialty thing, unless there's a specific reason you planned to serve them). 

    A sparkling moscato would be excellent with your pork. 

    For beer, the Corona sounds fine, as does some sort of Bud/Miller/Coors (because of the popularity), but I'd also go with something darker (maybe Sam Adams Boston Lager if you want something easy to find) or try something that's popular locally (e.g. Shiner in TX or Yuengling in PA). 
    I really disagree with skipping the Chardonnay because it's too dry. People who like dry wines are going to prefer it over Pinot Grigio and those who it's too dry for will drink Reisling.

    I also disagree with Moscato and pork... moscato is a very sweet wine and is best on it's own, with some light cheeses, or desserts... I've also read that it goes well with spicy food because it's sweetness can tame the heat a bit... none of those are even remotely close to pork.

    Again I wouldn't do moscato and reisling they are both sweet and I wouldn't do pinot grigio with either because you are servicing the same group of people who like sweeter wines. 

    For whites have a sweet and a dry, for reds have a light and a full bodied. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875
  • Alright, we bought our own liquor.  Our food was bbq so sounds like it was a bit more casual than what you're serving.  It was also a bit on the warm side outside.  I had 130 guests.  I had a case of Mark West Pinot Noir, a case of Stellina Notte Pinot Grigio, a keg of Bud Light and a keg of Fat Tire.  We also had 3 liquor choices with mixers.

    We had 2 Pinot Grigios left over, 4 Pinot Noirs, the bud light keg was pretty much killed, and the fat tire was only about 1/4 drank.  

    Had we not had the liquor, I would have done another half case each of the wines, and another bud light keg.  

    But, this was our crowd.  I knew for a fact that most of H's side drinks Bud Light all the time.  My side are more wine drinkers, and not as heavy of drinkers either.

    We also purchased the wine and liquor at a place that allowed us to return any undrank bottles, so we did that with the leftover liquor.  I kept the wine since it was wine I like to drink anyway.  That poor fat tire keg just got emptied into our kitchen sink :( 
    Married 9.12.15
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