I was recently sent some samples of sparkling wine to review for English Wedding Blog readers. Providing your own wedding wine can be a good way to save money; it’s also a necessity for weddings at home, garden party wedding receptions and for village hall weddings which are all becoming more and more popular with UK couples.
The wines I reviewed were both from Brown Brothers: their Cienna 2009 and Cienna Rosso are both low alcohol sparkling wines, from the Cienna grape variety which is unique to Brown Brothers and bred by crossing Sumoll (a Spanish grape) with Cabernet Sauvignon.
I do love wine – but I’m no expert wine taster so I enlisted my parents to help me review the wines.
My Mum and Dad (who you may have seen on the English Wedding facebook page) know their stuff when it comes to wines so while they gave their expert verdicts on taste and quality, I thought I’d share a little extra information with you on choosing wine for your wedding day.
Brown Brothers Cienna Rosso wedding wine
“A summery wine, very fruity and light” with “a taste of strawberries” and “a subtle sweet flavour” was the verdict on Cienna Rosso. This is a vibrant ruby red coloured wine, packed with bubbles that almost leap out of the glass, and tastes delicious. Brown Brothers say, “The creamy palate is delicately balanced with plenty of natural acidity and juicy summer berry flavours… a berry-licious bubbly bursting with irresistible fruit flavours”
Brown Brothers Cienna wedding wine
“Fruity and sweet, lovely and spicy” and “with a taste of berries – raspberries and strawberry” – this was our favourite of the two wines from Brown Brothers. Cienna 2009 is a very pleasing wine which we’d recommend with a summer wedding breakfast: at 5% alcohol and with a deliciously smooth flavour, it’s perfect after half an hour in the fridge and won’t have your wedding guests sozzled before the speeches have finished! Brown Brothers say, “A sip of this wine is like tasting summer berries in a glass, while the mixture of natural acidity and fruit sweetness leaves a refreshing sensation on the palate.”
Brown Brothers wedding wines: the verdict!
Both of the wines were delicious and I’d recommend either as a wedding wine. At 5% alcohol for the Cienna and 7.5% for the sparkling Cienna Rosso, they’re a wise choice if you’d prefer a refreshing wine for a summer wedding, particularly if your wedding day has an early start and you want your guests to enjoy a little something to drink through the afternoon and into the evening. I was also interested to see they’re vegan-friendly wines!
Brown Brothers’ Cienna Rosso is available from £9.99, priced from Waitrose. Brown Brothers’ Cienna 2009 is available from Morrisons, Nisa, Sandhams and Slurp.co.uk priced from £6.99.
Wedding wine advice: corkage and how much to buy
Corkage is a hot topic on most UK wedding forums, but rarely discussed on wedding websites.
Wedding wines and corkage fees
Basically if you book a wedding venue which has its own wine, but you’d rather bring your own, the venue will probably charge you from £5 a bottle or so to open the bottles. So don’t assume that providing your own wine at a luxury hotel wedding venue will save you money. Ask about corkage fees before you book!
For more information on corkage read A Guide to Corkage at Wedding Venues
It’s very likely you’ll find information on corkage fees at your wedding venue through Google. Type in your venue and ‘corkage’ and see if any forum discussions come up!
How much wine to buy for your wedding
The amount of wine you buy will depend on a few things: when is your wedding (early or late afternoon, or late morning), and are you providing a free bar all night?
Think about when people will be drinking: will there be aperitifs on the lawn before the sit down meal? Allow a glass-and-a-half per person. During the wedding breakfast you’ll need 1 glass of champagne for the toasts, and perhaps half a bottle of wine per guest. Don’t forget those who are driving, too young or simply prefer a non-alcoholic drink instead.
Links – more on Brown Brothers and wine for your wedding day
- Brown Brothers’ UK website http://brownbrothers.co.uk/
- Ultimate Wedding Magazine wine tasting of Brown Brothers’ Cienna Rosso and Zibibbo Rosa http://www.ultimateweddingmagazine.co.uk/2012/04/uwm-wine-tasting/
- 5 Star Weddings Directory review of Brown Brothers’ Zibibbo Rosa and Cienna Rosso http://www.5starweddingdirectory.com/blog/25655/drinks-for-your-wedding-reception/