• Photography: Jay Humphreys Photography + Design.

Raise a glass

By Bride and Groom 04 February 2020

Perfecting the drinks list is a fine art, but if you follow Paul Philips from Phillips Cellars and Regional Wine Centre’s advice it’s a simple mathematical equation.

Photography: Prue Peters Photography.

 ​​​​​The basics

The guest list is the starting point for many wedding decisions and the wine and beer list is no exception.

Paul recommends first doing the numbers and taking the time of year into consideration.

“If it’s during the warmer months you’re going to be drinking more beer, bubbles and white wine, and the opposite in the winter months – more reds and less beer,” Paul said.

Photography: Erin and Tara Photography.

 ​​​​​The list

A wedding is a celebration, and a celebration calls for sparkling.

“You need bubbles, a sparkling white which can also be a prosecco – nice light, dry and fruity – they tend to go down well with the crowd,” he said.

For the rest of the wine list you’ll need a selection of white and red varieties.

For the whites, Paul suggests sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and riesling and when it comes to the red choose a shiraz and maybe a merlot, but more shiraz than merlot.

With beer it’s best to stick to something mainstream like Carlton Draft, Carlton Dry, Great Northern, Peroni, Becks or Corona.

Cider is also a great addition to bar on a hot day – lean towards an apple rather than a pear.

“That will cover 65 to 70 per cent of the people who are drinking and then you should top up with little bits and pieces of what people you know who are attending like to drink whether it’s a moscato, a cabernet,” he said.

Photography: Pure Mac Photography.

 ​​​​​​Do the maths

Now that you’ve worked out what type of drinks to add to the list, it’s time to work out how much is needed to stock the bar.

But don’t worry it’s not hard with Paul’s simple equation.

Allow four stubbies of beer per male guest, one bottle of white including the bubbles per female guest and one glass of red wine per person.

Whatever that number is, up it by 10 per cent.

However, Paul also said it is important to consider your guests – are they big drinkers or not – they are your friends and family after all. And if it’s set to be a hot one, add on a few extra cartons of beer.

Photography: Erin and Tara Photography.

 ​​​​​​Less is not more

There is nothing worse than the bar running dry.

It is better to over-cater than to under-cater – not only will it put the couple at ease but Paul said anything left over can be returned.

“We can pack it up and deliver it to the venue cold ready to go and we can go back two days later and collect and credit off what’s not been used and give the person the bill,” he said.

Photography: The Art of Zowie Photography. 

 ​​​​Keep it simple

No matter what you decide to serve, don’t over complicate it.

“If you get caught up in too much detail, you’ll find you have an array of wine that not everyone is going to drink and you’re creating too much work for yourself to do the catering,” Paul said.

“You’ll find most people will drink what’s on offer anyway.”


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