Wedding Wines: The Ultimate Essential Guide

Food and wine are two of the key ingredients for a memorable wedding. But if you don’t know your pinot noirs from your riojas or proseccos from your champagnes, and you’re not a trained sommelier or wedding wine know-it-all, how do you know which wines go with which foods?

Winemakers from Naked Wines share which wines to pair with what foods and – based on Naked’s wine-drinkers reviews – we’ve picked out the best, most quaffable wedding wines to create this: our essential wedding wines guide.

Wedding Apperitifs

Those all important apperitifs set the tone and get people in the mood.

They will be the first wedding wines your guests drink so they need to be light, fresh, and instantly drinkable.

Top Rated Choices

  • Sparkling White: Sacchetto Prosecco Col de L’Utia Brut 2016 is a great all-rounder that is ideal for celebrating. It has green apple, pear and acacia scents and a delicate finish that makes it ideal for celebrating all year round.
  • Sparkling Rosè: Sacchetto Pinot Grigio Spumante Blush – Crowd-pleasing Pinot Grigio meets the fresh and fruity notes of rosé.
  • Champagne: Jean Philippe Moulin Champagne Blanc de Blancs – unapologetically luxurious champagne.


Cooked fish is so versatile when it comes to pairing with drinks. The best ones are light crisp whites with a hint of gooseberry, a light rosè or some crowd-pleasing bubbles. A soft Pinot Noir also works well.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: Small and Small’s Pinot Noir 2016 is an elegant Pinot with a gentle touch.
  • White: Small and Small do a zinging Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 that works brilliantly with fish. Replete with ripe gooseberry and kiwi flavours, it has a whisper of lime that they say is full of zig-a-zig Ahhh. Sancerre fans should go for the super crisp Villebois Sancerre 2016 which has an explosive gooseberry fruit finish.
  • Rosè: For a simple, easy to drink wine with a lush blend of fresh raspberry and apple flavours and a splash of cream finish, you won’t regret the Pinot Grigio Ramato Veneto Blush.
  • Sparkling: Sacchetto Pinot Grigio Spumante Blush – combining everything people love about Pinot Grigio and Rosè to create a fresh and fruity, yet romantic sparkling blush.
  • Champagne: Jean Philippe Moulin Champagne Rosè – if you would like pink champagne to accompany your fish, try Jean Philippe’s Moulin Champagne Rosè. Its tiny bubbles will gently revive your tongue leaving you with a subtle hint of sauteed strawberry. Or, for something oozing class, go for Jean Philippe’s speciality: the unapologetically luxurious Moulin Champagne Blanc de Blancs.

BBQs and Burgers and Pizza

Weddings with a festival vibe frequently favour pizzas, burgers and BBQ grills served from street-food style vans and vendors.

This kind of relaxed, heady atmosphere deserves to be reflected in the drinks, so choose your wedding wines that are decadent, but easily quaffable.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: Arabella Pinotage 2016 – the dark damson fruits of this delicious pinotage combine with subtle hints of prune, black cherry, and milk chocolate. Those who drink it say it’s heavenly with savoury bread and pizza.
  • Red: Mauricio Lorca Angel’s Selection Malbec 2016 easy-to-drink wedding wine is gorgeously fruity and will take you straight to the fiesta. Quaff with barbecued meats and burgers.
  • Rosè: Klein’s Cabernet Sauvignon Rosè 2016 is a wonderfully complex summer tipple with classic cassis flavours that will have you and your guests reaching for the next glass.


The world’s your oyster when it comes to tasty tapas, but when you come to choosing the wedding wine, go for a rounded red that will polish off each tasty mouthful with fanciful finesse.

Top Rated Choice

  • Red: Hacienda don Hernan’s Rioja Gran Reserva 2009 works particularly well. Aged in wood for years, its smoky vanilla nose will hit you as soon as you lift the glass to your mouth, and once you’ve taken a sip, its rick black cherry and raspberry fruits will give you a hypnotically long, lingering finish.


Red meat pairs perfectly with red wine; as a rule of thumb, the leaner the meat you eat, the lighter a wedding wine should be.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: DRG Daryl Groom Barossa Shiraz 2015 is a powerhouse of ripe ‘n’ ready dark fruit, with oodles of vibrant fresh berries with a lick of oak and dark chocolate as a flourish.
  • Red: Galodoro Vinho Regional Lisboa Red 2015 is an easy-to-drink red made from traditional Portuguese grapes with an added Cabernet kick. Delicious.


As with beef, lamb matches brilliantly with red wine. Again, the leaner the meat, the less complex the wine should be.

Top Rated Choices

  • Reds: Naked Wines’ connoisseurs say you can’t go wrong with Small and Small’s elegant Pinot Noir 2016, or the vibrant berry powerhouse of DRG Daryl Groom Barossa Shiraz 2015, which has a lick of oak and a dark chocolate flourish; but for those who prefer Rioja, try Hacienda don Hernan’s Rioja Gran Reserva 2009 – aged in wood for years, its smoky vanilla nose is hard to resist, and its rich black cherry and raspberry notes provide a luxuriously long and lingering finish.
  • Champagne: The bubbles of Jean Philippe’s Moulin Champagne Rosèwill caress rather than overpower your tongue, and leave you with the subtlest notes of strawberry.


If you’re serving up chicken at your wedding, you will need to find a wedding wine that’s nice and light: a fruity white traditionally pairs well with poultry, but if your chicken is served in a tomato-based sauce, a soft Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignot would go just as well.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: Kimbao Cabernet Sauvignon Carménère – ripe with bold blackcurrant and undertones of sweet dark chocolate, this Cabernet Sauvignon is a smooth operator and pairs well with chicken.
  • White: Crisp and fruity, the Sacchetto Janus Pinot Grigio Veneto 2016 is a gem of wine with tones of apple and white peach.

Duck or Game

The rich flavours of duck and game meats pair well with medium bodied reds, like a Pinot Noir, but an intense white can also add great depth.

Top Rated Choice

  • Red: Soft and silky, the Villebois Pinot Noir 2016 is a classic red that’s ideal with game and barbecues.
  • White: The ripe pear flavours and rich lemon notes of Oscar’s White 2016 is a good choice for accompanying game, and has a crisp, clean finish that refreshes the palette, too.


Pork is one of those meats that works well with both red and white, particularly oaked chardonnays and pinotage.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: Arabella Pinotage 2016 has notes of dark damsons, prunes, and black cherry which combine with milk chocolate to make this a heavenly tipple to take with pork.
  • White: Sebastien Christophe et Fils’ Petit Chablis 2016 is citrusy, clean and crisp and offers a refreshingly light accompaniment to pork.


Wedding wines that work well with vegetarian food don’t overpower the variety of fresh, subtle flavours. Rosès, Syrahs and Pinot Noirs are all good choices.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: if you are serving lentils at your wedding, complement the with Benjamin Darnault’s Maris Syrah 2011. The notes of plump, ripe blackberries, melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate and seductively spiced liquorice create a rounded, reach-for-more voluptuous red wine. It’s organic, too.
  • Rosè: The Pinot Grigio Ramato Veneto Blush slips down all too easily thanks to the summery blend of raspberry and apple that unite in this refreshingly light wine.

Indian, Thai and Oriental

Fruity wedding wines can really help set off all those exquisite flavours you find in Indian, Thai and Oriental cuisine, but be careful not to drown them out.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: DRG Daryl Groom Barossa Shiraz 2015 – a ripe and ready mix of dark fruits packed with bombastic berries and a fabulous oak and dark chocolate flourish that makes it ideal for serving with Indian foods.
  • Red: Galodoro Vinho Regional Lisboa Red 2015 brings a unique blend of traditional Portuguese grapes with an added Cabernet kick that’s as delicious as it is easy to drink. It’s a very versatile drink that works well with oriental food.
  • White: Rod Easthope’s Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2016 is versatile enough to be paired with most foods, but its fruit-filled flavour is packed with a sunkissed melody that rocks with Thai cuisine.


The subtle flavours of sushi can easily be swamped by overpowering, heavy wines, so if you’re serving sushi at your wedding, choose a light wine that is gentle on the palette.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: Small and Small’s Pinot Noir 2016 – an elegant Pinot with a gentle touch.
  • White: Raats Angels Selection Chenin Blanc 2016 – made in Bruwer Raats – an iconic South African winemaker, this aromatic, dry Chenin Blanc lifts the senses with pear, gooseberry and a hint of elderflower.
  • Champagne: Jean Philippe’s Moulin Champagne Rosè – tiny bubbles that gently caress your tongue, leaving just the subtlest hint of mouth-watering strawberries.


Cheese is always a popular choice for weddings – as a plate to round off the meal, as an alternative wedding cake or as a cheese-tasting buffet during the evening reception.

Wines that pair with cheese deserves a feature all to themselves, but as a rule, pair young cheese with fruity wines, and aged cheeses with rich wines with plenty of body.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: the Galodoro Vinho Regional Lisboa Red 2015 brings a unique blend of traditional Portuguese grapes with an added Cabernet kick that’s as delicious as it is easy to drink. Works well with aged cheese.
  • The award-winning Lacaze Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is another great choice for vintage cheeses. Hailing from one of Chile’s most iconic vineyards, it’s a superbly, rich wine that will complement the depth of mature cheese flavours.
  • White: Dominic Hentall’s Pouilly Fuisse 2014 is a classically aromatic wine with a smoky flint scent, complemented by notes of stone fruits, honey and flora – a great all-rounder.
  • Rod Easthope’s Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 is a gorgeously elegant New Zealand white that’s bursting with character and works well with shellfish and hard, mature cheeses.
  • Champagne: Paid Jean Philippe Moulin Champagne Blanc de Blancs with young cheese to create a mouth-wateringly celebration medley.

Dessert Wine

For that extra sweet after-dinner kick serve up glasses of desert wedding wine that sings hymns.

Top Rated Choice

  • Domaine Jones Muscat 2016 is the Bohemian Rapsody of desert wines with notes of honeysuckle, exotic Turkish delight and fragrant elderflower finish that dance across the tongue.

Fail Safe Crowd Pleasers

Still confused? Go for a selection of trusted tipples that everyone loves.

Top Rated Choices

  • Red: Arabella Merlot 2016 – a smooth criminal in the red wine world; it’s great with red meat, tomato-based dishes, and chocolate puds.
  • White: Rod Easthope Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2016 – versatile with most foods. Fresh, juicy, light, and more fruit than you can shake a stick at. Bags of sunshine and the Hawkes Bay altitude give this Pinot Gris some serious attitude.
  • Rosè: Pinot Grigio Ramato Veneto Blush – wonderfully simple, light, easy-drinking wine, with hints of fresh raspberries blended with crisp apple flavours and a great slash of cream on the finish. Wonderfully lush.
  • Champagne: Jean Philippe Moulin Champagne Rosè – tiny bubbles that gently caress your tongue, leaving just the subtlest hint of mouth-watering strawberries.

English Summer Wedding Wines

English wines are ticking so many of our boxes. They’re sustainable, lower on emissions because they don’t have to travel far, and they taste so good, they’ve been winning awards, and they’re sustainable, but which ones should make your summer wedding drinks edit?

We ask Charlotte Brook, drinks’ expert for Whirlowbrook Hall and Mosborough Hall.

“The quality of English wine has improved dramatically in recent years,”

“The changing climate means prolonged periods of warmer weather and this has provided ideal growing conditions for varieties of grapes that previously only grew across the channel.

The South of England is an area that is doing particularly well; our hotels are championing many local wines, like Chapel Down in Kent, and those made on the Bolney Estate.”

explains Charlotte

Top Rated Choices

Bolney Estate vineyards have been producing award-winning wines for more than 40 years.

It lies on the edge of the South Downs just a few miles from the south coast and uses traditional production methods and cultural practices that actively promotes and maintains the health, fertility and stability of its sandstone soils.

  • “A popular choice at many of the weddings we host,” Charlotte tells us, “is Bolney Estate’s Lychgate White; it has a zesty palate of grapefruit, lime and elderflower that makes it taste like summer in a bottle.”
  • Chapel Down’s Kit’s Coty Chardonnay 2016, is also worth tasting; it is a gold medal wine with rich, fresh apple flavours and a soft, notes of hazelnut and butter and a long, smooth finish.

“We love the simplicity of these wines,” Charlotte says. “It’s something we always advise couples. When choosing wines, keep it simple; don’t over complicate the palate.”

As a rule, summer wedding white wines should be light and refreshing; reds, crisp and fruity – never too heavy.


If you’re looking for vegan wine, there’s good news.

“Many domestic wines are vegan and cruelty-free. Look to the Hush Heath Estate and the Albury Organic Vineyard for organic wines that are free of animal-based products,” advises Charlotte.

Top Rated Choices

  • Hush Heath’s Balfour Brut Rosé is an exceptional, multi-award-winning sparkling wine made from traditional Champagne grapes; its lingering notes of raspberry and strawberry make it a refreshing choice for a summer wedding wine.

About Naked Wedding Wines

Naked Wines is a customer-funded, UK wine business that invests in independent winemakers to get preferential prices, which are in turn, passed on to customers.

Customers then rate the wines according to their tastes.

All Naked Wines have a story – you’ll find the story of each wine and its winemaker on the naked wine’s website.

Print it out and leave it on the table as a conversation piece – click on the winemaker to see the story.

About Charlotte

Charlotte Brook is Operations Manager and Drinks Expert at country house wedding venues Whirlowbrook Hall and Mosborough Hall, both in South Yorkshire.

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