In order to get the total price right for customers, off-licences must take into account that at mid to high end hotels wedding corkage is around €12 to €15 per bottle for still wines and €23 to €30 for sparklers.
Although, right now, they are open to negotiation on corkage, which can bring down the cost quite significantly.
The still wine choices here are generally priced below €10 trade. Sparklers are more but all deliver on price.
REDS AND WHITES
Devil’s Corner Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Ampersand). Fresh and tasty, this is a crowd pleaser in the best sense. Screw top closure makes it easy to serve quickly and, in Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir, there is a perfect matching red.
Cono Sur Chardonnay 2008 (Findlater). Balanced and easy, this is an excellent first course wine and can be offered alongside Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2008 or Merlot 2008. Personally, I think the Pinot gives more bang for the buck.
Errazuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 2007 (Allied Drinks). This is slightly more expensive but is good value for what you get. Well balanced with streaks of pineapple and citrus, it can appear with Max Reserva Cabernet 2007, or, if budgets are tighter, with the Estate Cabernet or Merlot. The merlot, with its large dollop of carmenère and a touch of sangiovese, to boost acidity, is the more adventurous choice.
Winery of Good Hope Chardonnay 2008 (Cassidy). Well balanced, moreish stuff and, as a companion, Good Hope Shiraz 2007 has very good character and length for the money. There’s also a decent cabernet.
Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio Chardonnay (Febvre). Good Italian wines don’t come cheap so this is for the couple that doesn’t mind exceeding the €20 mark by a bit of a margin when corkage is included. But it’s in fashionable style and well made and can be paired with the even better Banfi Col di Sasso Cabernet Sangiovese 2006/7. The 2006 is drinking very well now.
Wakefield Promised Land Sauvignon Semillon 2008 (Findlater). This consistent label over delivers on price at almost every level and, again, screw caps make it easy for large numbers. This is a perfect easy white and its companion red could be either the Promised Land Cabernet or the nicely concentrated Wakefield Pinot Noir at a slightly higher price point.
Cono Sur Sparkling Chardonnay (Findlater). For those who like all their bottles in harmony, this would suit those who’ve already chosen still wines from the same range. Decent, refreshing stuff, for aperitif or toast.
Marques de Monistrol Cava Reserva (Febvre). The great thing about this range is that it offers a pink sparkler which is very decent for the price. Both the white and pink are in clean, refreshing style.
Ch. Rives Blanques Blanquette de Limoux 2006/7 (Febvre). I sometimes think the best value sparklers in the world are in France but outside Champagne. This is one and its stylish, apple flavours have just a hint of yeast.
Valdo Marca Oro Prosecco di Valdobbiadene (Febvre). Prosecco is now rated as high as Champagne as far as some consumers are concerned and this is a decent, serious one with fresh pear and apple flavours and fine acid balance.
Denois Brut Tradition Vin Mousseau (McCambridge). I’ve always liked Denois wines and this south of France sparkler has very good weight for its price with lovely citrus and baked bread notes.
Montana Lindaur Brut (Irish Distillers). This well known name can be overlooked but I sampled it recently and found it had very tasty apple fruit with a nice kick of toast.
Lambrini Pink Bubbly (United Wines). Less serious sparklers can also be offered as aperitifs and this one is a low alcohol, fruity wine. It’s girly but when well-chilled it’s juicy and refreshing. Perfect for a summer’s day, it’s ideal for offering alongside non-wine aperitifs such as Pimms.
Jacquart Champagne nv (Gleeson). Jacquart has currently one of the best non vintage Champagnes around; it’s clean, with busy bubbles and decent fruit weight and yeast character.
Charles Heidseck Brut Reserve Champagne nv (Barry Fitzwilliam). This is a tad more expensive than the Jacquart but if you like an evolved character to your non vintage, then this is for you. Lots of beeswax and nut elements with good concentration of fruit.
Delamotte Brut nv (Cassidy). A good small-house Champagne, with style and length.