The Party Wine Guide
Here at Taurus Wines we have over twenty years of experience supplying weddings, celebrations and parties throughout the Surrey Hills and beyond. Over the years we’ve come up with some expert advice on how to choose the right wine and how much to order for your special occasion
What wine should I choose?
Feel free to browse through our entire selection of wines, Champagnes and spirits
here. Please feel free to ask us for advice – but don’t over-think it; if you think it tastes good, then you’re onto a winner. Remember; it's your party and you can drink what you want to!
How much will I need?
This depends on your type of party. For a drinks party, allow one glass of wine or fizz per person per 20 minutes for the first hour, and thereafter one glass every half an hour. So, for a two-and-a-half hour party you’ll need six glasses per person (i.e. one bottle) though don't forget that some people will inevitably be driving. For a seated lunch or dinner you will generally need about half a bottle per person. In summer it tends to be a split of two-thirds white to one-third red wine, and in the winter it’s equal quantities of each.
I’m buying a lot of wine, will I get a discount?
In short, no. You'll find our prices incredibly competitive against other merchants and national retailers. Our prices also always include local delivery of the wine, glasses and any cool boxes you need, plus pick-up of glasses and empty bottles, which we can responsibly recycle for you – saving you time and money. We also offer a sale or return service, which means you can buy as much wine as you need - and more - and know that you can return any leftovers for a refund.
How does sale or return work?
Sale or return is when we agree to take back unopened bottles of wine after your party and refund you their cost. This is limited to 25% of any one item and is by prior arrangement and only on current vintages. We’re happy to accept the return of part cases, as long as the bottles are in their original boxes and in saleable condition (i.e. with the labels undamaged).
How do we chill our wines if there are too many bottles for our fridge?
We can lend you a thermal cool box that can fit up to 40 bottles – plus ice – and will chill your wines to perfect temperature in only 20 minutes. For events with more than 250 guests hiring a refrigerated trailer might be more practical. Don’t rely on using the one your caterer (if you’re having one) uses – all the food and wine just won’t fit in! We can recommend contacts for refrigerated trailers; prices start from £150 for a weekend.
What happens if our wedding or event has to be postponed or cancelled?
Should a paid order be cancelled or postponed for reasons beyond your control we will, where practical, offer a credit note. We’ll try to be as reasonable as possible and handle things on a case by case basis. Some wedding insurance policies cover all deposits – it may be better for you to simply claim from the insurance company.
Do you sell barrels of beer?
We have a fantastic range of local beers available by the keg, bottle and can. Our
relationship with the local breweries means that we sell their beers at the same price as they do, and ordering through us means a more cohesive service for you. If you order a barrel or firkin, one of our staff will deliver it along with your wine and make sure it’s all working in situ on the day of your party.
What do we do about corkage costs at our venue?
Some venues ask for a corkage charge if you’re providing the wine. They’re often open to negotiation or will exchange corkage for a flat fee to cover the bar staff’s time. It’s also worth checking the small print of the contract – does it stipulate the bottle size? If not, using magnums (twice the size of normal bottles) will halve your corkage bill.
Taurus Wines’ Top Tips
Here are some tried-and-tested ideas to help you personalise your big day or party and also save yourselves time, money and trouble.
Alternative drinks can make a reception more memorable. Kir Impérial (sparkling
wine with a drop of framboise) is the perfect summer drink and looks lovely with
some tiny wild strawberries in the glass. In winter, mulled wine fills the air with a festive atmosphere. Mojitos and vibrant Aperol spritzes are recent big hits, or simply add a pretty, edible hibiscus flower that will bloom in the bottom of each Champagne glass.
If you’re lucky with the weather, don’t let the red wine sit on the tables in direct
sunlight. Beaujolais should be slightly chilled (11°-13°C) and all other reds served at up to 18°C. More than this means hot, harsh-tasting wine that no one will enjoy.
If you’re having speeches alongside a cake or dessert, serve a demi-sec Champagne or Prosecco for the toasts as the sweetness of the pud will make a dry (brut) Champagne taste sharp.
If you’re having Champagne, it’s best to use a classic flute. Wide, shallow coupe-style glasses look beautiful, but let Champagne go flat easily (and make it easier to spill). Modern flutes with hollow stems might look trendy but the Champagne itself can quickly become warmed by the drinker’s hand.
Don’t forget the ushers! A bottle of wine or whisky in a wooden box, Cuban cigars or a decanter all make ideal thank you gifts – and we can deliver them all with your wine.
Most importantly, we hope you enjoy your event! And don’t forget that we can supply glasses, cool boxes and ice - and organise delivery. On larger orders we’ll even collect the leftovers and empties. Just ask one of our staff members for more details.