06 May, 2021

When it comes to planning your big day there are so many factors at play; venue, guest list, music and food. However, one thing that can often take a bit more consideration is the wine.

What is the best wine for a wedding and how much should there be? These are just some of the many questions often asked when it comes to serving alcohol at weddings. Here at Dark Horse, we have you covered and here you’ll discover how to choose from a crisp and lively chardonnay or a bold and daring merlot to complement every setting.

How much wine for a wedding?

This depends on how many people you’ve invited but a solid rule is that you should allow for around half a bottle per person. However, if you do have some extra budget available then it’s better to over-estimate. That way you can enjoy the day and your guests will appreciate your generosity.

To help you visualise how much of everything you’ll need to buy, try using a wedding alcohol calculator. Based on how many guests you have and the answers to the questions you give it calculates the number of bottles of everything from wine and champagne to beer.

Wedding Food and wine pairings

Food and wine for weddings is often down to personal preference. However, here are a few solid choices that won’t let you down when it comes to pairing white or red with fish or chicken.


Due to its acidity, white wine pairs well with Fish but be careful though, it depends on the type of fish you’re serving. Lean or flaky fish such as sea bass or cod is best complemented by a white such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio due to its mild flavour.

Tannins in red wine combined with the fish oils can result in a metallic after taste, which would not be pleasant for you or your guests. However, there can be exceptions to this rule. Meatier fish such as tuna or monkfish can actually work well with Pinot Noir or even a Cabernet will go down a treat.


Chicken is a solid option for a wedding menu. Served as a salad or in a creamy sauce, opt for a dry white such as a lightly oaked chardonnay. Chicken is a light meat with subtle flavours so our smooth chardonnay is a perfect fit. With notes of apple and pear, it’s bold and vibrant and will enhance most chicken dishes.

Darker meats such as duck or even guinea fowl with its heavier meat overtones and slightly gamier taste is best paired with a light to medium-bodied red. Our Dark Horse Cabernet is free spirited with notes of plum and a hint of oak, which complements the rich flavour.


When it comes to beef and wine pairings, an important element to consider is what cut of beef you’ll be serving at the reception.

Lean cuts of beef such as a sirloin or slices of roast beef go nicely with a glass of light to medium red. Our merlot is smooth and sophisticated. It has a medium tannin with plummy, black cherry notes, which gives it a slightly higher acidity, and this helps to cut through the texture of the meat.

Fattier meats such as a porterhouse or ribeye need a red wine, which is a little bit punchier. Bold reds such as a cab, which has high tannin is just what a rich piece of meat needs.

The high tannin helps cut through the fattiness so you can enjoy every bite.


When it comes to pork, whether you choose white or red depends on the type of meat as well as the style of cooking.

If you’re serving tender meats such as suckling pig then go for a light red. A chianti is a dry Italian red with medium tannins. It has an earthy and less fruity flavour, which works well with this type of delicate pork.

A very fatty piece of pork such as pork belly goes best with a wine, which has richness combined with acidity, lots of acidity. A zesty wine like sauvignon blanc with notes of fresh citrus and tropical fruit has a refreshingly crisp finish. This helps to cleanse the palate after each mouthful, keeping the meal balanced throughout.


If the weather is slightly warmer and you’re opting to serve lighter meals then seafood is often a preferred choice. 

Dark Horse Rose

Types of wedding venue

Depending on your style and what theme you select for your big day, there’s a whole array of different wedding venues to choose from. Choosing the right venue is an important decision as this sets the scene for your entire day but once you’ve zeroed in on your choice, you’ll also want to think about the best wine for that setting.

Stately homes

A stately home for your wedding venue will not be short of charm and character. A merlot is a great choice to serve in such grand surroundings. With plenty of history and vibrant flavour, it’s a crowd pleaser for any reception. It has lighter tannins but retains its dark, jammy flavour, one that most red wine lovers can appreciate.

Barn conversion

If you’re planning on tying the knot in a beautiful barn conversion then you’ll want to choose a wine to match. For such rustic features and open, outdoor space, our Malbec is a great choice. It’s full of charisma with dark plum and blackberry notes and a hint of spice, evoking feelings of nature and the outdoors. This will complement this adventurous venue beautifully.


If your dream wedding involves exchanging vows at an up-market hotel then you may want to try something a little different. Hotels are renowned for their luxurious settings so a sauvignon blanc as your wedding wine is the perfect choice. It has medium acidity, and fruit and citrus notes which bode well with the lavish surroundings.


When it comes to the date of your wedding this is something unique to every couple. Between May and October is ideal for a wedding so if you’re contemplating a summer or autumn wedding then there are a few things to keep in mind.


If you’ve chosen a summer wedding you clearly like sunshine and warmer weather. With that in mind, you want to make sure that you and your guests enjoy a lighter tipple. 


Autumn weddings offer cooler temperatures and beautiful leafy foliage, which makes for a stunning backdrop for the occasion. A glass of red wine bodes nicely with an autumnal ambience. Our Cabernet Sauvignon boasts rich fruit aromas of blackberry and cherry.

It’s velvety and indulgent which lends itself well to an autumn setting, giving a comforting warmth throughout.


No matter how you choose to plan your special day, remember it’s your day. Add personality by choosing your favourite wines or ones with regions that have significance to you. Red, white or rosé, your guests will be delighted to raise their glasses and toast to your future happiness, health and prosperity.

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