9 Affordable White Wines to Serve at Your Wedding
What’s a great wedding toast without a stellar glass of white to clink in celebration? Pretty much nada. But actually deciding on that wedding-worthy wine that will also please the majority of your guests feels like such a big to-do. So we checked in with some experts to help with the decision-making.
Miri Kolici, general manager and beverage director at Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel, finds that even with cooler weather, wedding guests enjoy white wine all year round. His rule of thumb: “Always offer at least two different whites, such as a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay. This should satisfy most of the guests’ preferences because the wines have such different styles.” Hillary Zio, sommelier and author of The Unfiltered Guide to Working in Wine, steers away from sweet or overly oaked wines, “because many people don't prefer them and they are harder to pair with food.”
Get inspired by some of the white wines our experts chose below—which prove to be ideal (and affordable) for any celebration.
It’s always a good idea to kick off your wedding celebration with a bottle of bubbly. Even better: If said fresh bubbly tastes full of crisp green apples. Produced in the mountains of Trentino, this 100 percent Chardonnay Trentodoc is Italy’s answer to Champagne and festive for any fête. “Sparkling wines are ideal wedding wines because they are celebratory, yet my family's wines are so versatile that they pair well throughout the meal, with cocktail hour favorites such as shrimp and lobster and with traditional, elegant main courses,” says Ferrari Trento’s head winemaker, Marcello Lunelli.
Domaine Fournier, Sauvignon Vin de Pays (Loire), 2016
A vibrant Sauvignon Blanc is an especially good choice for a summer wedding. Fournier’s Vin de Pays is 100 percent Sauvignon and very Sancerre-like with grapes sourced from the younger vines of the estate. Consider this bright, crisp and easy drinking thanks to peach and citrus notes and a refreshing acidity—making it a great accompaniment for salads, seafood and other light dishes.
F.X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner
“There are a few white wines that tend to be big crowd-pleasers for me when I conduct a tasting...they are Albariño and Grüner Veltliner,” says Zio. Both varietals are in the Sauvignon Blanc family and “offer fresh citrus fruits on the nose, along with refreshing acidity on the palate.” This Grüner Veltliner—a white wine grape variety grown primarily in Central Europe—is from Austria’s Wachau wine valley and can be served with pork, vegetables, poultry, lean fish and cured meats.
Neyers Chardonnay ‘304’
Ready to get a little bit tipsy? This 100 percent Chardonnay from Sonoma County is unoaked, aged in mostly stainless steel tanks (Grade 304 stainless-steel to be exact) with about 15 percent aged in concrete. What’s all this mean? An easy-to-drink wine that is fresh, crisp and complex. Kolici recommends Chardonnays that are dry and fruity with good acidity, and he says Neyers is a crowd-pleaser that can easily highlight shellfish, lobster in a buttery sauce (yum!), salmon and pasta dishes.
Schloss Johannisberg Riesling
Rieslings can range from sweet to dry, but crisp whites like this German Riesling—a product of one of the country’s most historic wine-producing estates in the Rheingau region—work well for larger gatherings and weddings. Aside from a label that will add a touch of elegance to any wedding table, Kolici highlights that this particular wine is “a little dry with tropical notes and honey flavors layered with some spices and gingerbread notes.” The way his team pairs it with breaded coconut shrimp and a side of sweet chili sauce will probably make your mouth water, too.
Nanclares y Prieto Albariño
Meanwhile, Zio is a fan of this dry Spanish gem from Rías Baixas, Galicia. It’s one of seven different Albariños produced by winemaker Alberto Nanclares. Aged in small steel vats and used French oak, it is mineral- and saline-driven with bright citrus flavors and a clean finish. Crisp and acidic, Albariños go really well with seafood and are generally a wonderful budget option.
Peter Lauer Barrel X Riesling
Looking for something slightly alternative that will pair well with fiery flavors? “Peter Lauer has been bending the rules of winemaking ever since his first vintage. This Riesling is his most approachable, the one that you want to pair with your spicy tacos and the one the mother of the bride can throw a few ice cubes in and drink all night long,” says Tim Wallace, Head Sommelier of Stowe Mountain Lodge.
Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
Kolici compares this Italian white to a white burgundy or an unoaked Napa Chardonnay. A deep yellow, this Verdicchio from Marche, Italy, is full-bodied and pleasantly fruity, with notes of apples and almonds. We’ll take it—especially if pasta, risotto, fish and mild cheeses are on the menu, which tends to be the case at large events and weddings.
Condes de Albarei Albariño
Looking to go super budget? “Condes de Albarei’s Albariño is inexpensive but still gives you that mineral, sea spray quality on the finish. It's perfect with sautéed shrimp or a lightly seasoned piece of salmon,” says Zio.