My wedding to Future Mrs. Whiner is still nearly two years away, but, wine-o that I am, I've been thinking about the wedding wines already. She mentioned the possibility that we needn't pour the same wines at our table (and at our parent's table) that we do at the other tables (we'll be having a 250ish person wedding.) I don't know if it would be appropriate to do that (although I do like the idea of Krug Rose and Quintarelli Amorone on our wedding night). Has anyone ever been to a wedding where the bride and groom were drinking different wines than everyone else? How would you react if you were at such a wedding?

Original Post
". . .and let your best be for your friends."
Kahlil Gibran

If you care enough about them and they are important enough to be invited to the most important day of your lives, certainly, they should get the best you can offer. Enjoying the same wines with them at the reception would be most appropriate, in my opinion. Open something (a wine, for those of you with dirty minds) REALLY special with your bride later.
If you want to have a nice bottle of Champagne in an ice bucket on a stand behind the head table for yourselves I'd say that would be OK and fairly non-descript. Now, having said that, save the good stuff for after the reception. iirc about my reception and every one that I've attended for others since then the bride and groom are so busy with other activities such as visiting all of their family and friends, dancing with various parties, cutting the cakes, etc... that you won't have 30 seconds just to sit there and enjoy a Krug Rose. Save if for the wedding night or better yet the next evening when you're alone on your honeymoon. Do like cdr11 says (somewhat) and get yourself a good drinking Champagne that everybody can enjoy that is cost effective like a 1996 Duval Leroy Blanc de Chardonnay.

Best wishes.
I'd say it was perfectly appropriate. Presumably you will be pouring something reasonably good for everyone else. Anyone who might take offence has no business being there in the first place in my view.

How many of the guests would even know what Amarone was? I bet a significant percentage of people on this board have never tried one, and we're all wine geeks.
My sister did this at her wedding 4 weeks ago. However she had low preservative wine served at the bridal table because she is sensitive to preservatives. Thankfully I managed to convince her that the Grange in my cellar is chock full of preservatives and she wouldn't want to spend the evening sneexing her head off.
I think it would be tacky for the bride and groom to be drinking much better wines than their guests. Some people will get offended, especially the wine drinkers of the group, and wonder why they weren't good enough to get the good stuff as well. Save it for another night.

Best wishes in your marriage and blah blah blah that mushy stuff.
Originally posted by pippin:
For those who did not "get" Grunhauser's Nixon comment, Nixon reportedly would drink 1959 Chateau Lafite Rothschild wrapped in a white napkin, while he served guests at a state dinner a nice Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon.

If Nixon was a bit more sneaky, he would have emptied out a bottle of the guests wine and poured the Lafite into that. Nobody would've guessed...

but then again, this was the guy behind Watergate. So it's safe to assume that he wasn't the most thought out person pressing the button. Smile

And to get back on topic - Whiner - I'd just make it a BYOB. Save ya a ton on booze. Smile

In all seriousness - I don't see any problem having your own wine seperate from your guests. I do think it'd be best to let people know in advance that if they want to drink really good wine, then they'll have to bring their own f'n bottle, cuz you'll just be pouring some Box Wine for the masses.
I'll chime in on the side of it being inappropriate and tacky.

Speaking from experience, I'll also add that you're probably going to be too excited and too distracted at the dinner to remember too much about the wine, anyhow. That's how it was for us, anyways.

Oh yeah...Good luck! Smile

If you can't drink something special on you're wedding day when can you? As long as there is something decent for the others, I don't think that it's tacky at all. Your wedding should be all about you and Mrs. Whiner, and since you're both passionate about wine, it should be the ideal evening to crack open something special. If there's one day you deserve special treatment, this is it. Is anyone really going to be offended by the newlyweds drinking nicer wine than they are? Anyone who thinks like that probably feels that it's unfair for the bride to wear the nicest dress, or that the couple gets wedding gifts, gets to go on their honeymoon, etc. That's just crazy. Tacky would be inviting friends over to a wine dinner and serving them schlock while you drank Marcassin. Live it up, enjoy your day.
Originally posted by The Artist Formerly known as DJ Hombre:
Originally posted by pippin:
For those who did not "get" Grunhauser's Nixon comment, Nixon reportedly would drink 1959 Chateau Lafite Rothschild wrapped in a white napkin, while he served guests at a state dinner a nice Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon.

If Nixon was a bit more sneaky, he would have emptied out a bottle of the guests wine and poured the Lafite into that. Nobody would've guessed...

I could SWEAR that I read *somewhere* that this practice is exactly what happened (the emptying and re-filling of bottles). I believe it was Robin Garr's site two or three years ago and came from an account by the White House wine steward who didn't release the information until after Nixon's death.
In my opinion it's potentially both rude and awkward for you to pour something different for yourself and your bride than for your guests. Serve something acceptable for everyone that won't break your budget. Anyway, if your wedding is anything like many I've been to (including my own) you're not going to have very much time to enjoy wine or food. Your guests will hopefully be able to enjoy a great celebration of love, food, and wine. You will be the hosts and may not get much to eat at all.
Assuming that you have a ride (limo) from ceremony to reception, pop the Krug on the way there - and hopefully you can tell the driver to take the scenic route so you can enjoy it Smile
I agree with many others - once there you will have so much going on, that it won't be real easy to truly enjoy a fine bottle. Save it for that night when you are alone and for the honeymoon....
At our wedding two years ago, we drank different (better) wine at the rehearsal dinner. I planned the dinner, and wanted really good wine with my meal. Nobody noticed, and it was a really fun evening. As for the actual wedding reception, I just drank whatever plonk they served. We were too busy talking to other people, doing the special dances, etc to enjoy nice wine. We did have a nice bottle of champagne later in the honeymoon suite.
Probably completely inappropriate, tacky and thoughtless. If you do it you will probably be viewed by your guests as complete cads and drummed out of the majorettes. None of them will ever speak to you again and your lives will be as ruined as the two billion softball players not going to the Olympics (sorry, interloping thread from another site).

So I say "Sod it", it's your wedding. Do what the hell you like and make sure that the two people who enjoy it more than any others will be Mr and Mrs Whiner. Good luck.
What tacky person checks to make sure the bride and groom aren't drinking something better??? Come on - Don't be ridiculous.

Drink a special bottle at the head table! It's your wedding! If you have more of the special wine, pour some for the parents table(s), but only if you know they'd appreciate it.

[Don't serve swill to everyone, since you know better, of course.]
I brought 2 good bottles to our wedding and had them up at the head table. We poured some for the wedding party and gave any of our wino friends some as well. With everything going on most people won't notice or care that you're drinking something different. And if they did oh well, it's your day and they are there to celebrate it with you however you see fit.
gigond: brings back memories. as a little kid i remember being at an uncle's house when he pulled the steak for adults and hot dogs for kids trick. even then i thought "what a cheap bastard."

dave tong:
"Anyone who might take offence has no business being there in the first place in my view."
I put you right there with my uncle. if you can't afford the wine or are too cheap to share, don't invite them.
As Wes said earlier, if you can’t have special wine on a special day like your wedding, when can you? Keep in mind this is your day and you should do what you want to make it special and memorable. For those who consider it “rude”, maybe their guestlist are winos (not my favorite term, but it works). Believe me, your guests will or should understand.
If you’re still put off by the possibility of offending someone, do what my wife and I did. Make wine your theme and name the tables by different varietals. You can sit some family members at the better wine tables you have and put a bottle of that grape or meritage and they can drink it as they like. Encourage them to travel around and try different wines during the night and save what you want for your head table. I would have loved to have my head table be different types of Zin, but we rested with Champagne.
This way you can 1) seat your family/friends at the bottles you want them to drink, 2) expose people to different wines they might not try otherwise, and 3) keep the social lubrication flowing at all times. While I fell people should be responsible for themselves, I also provided a shuttle to their hotel. I would like people to have a good time if they want to.

My 2¢…
I've been to a number of wine friendly functions, receptions etc. where the wine was on the table prior to the arrival of the guests. At one particular party, four or five different red anf white wines were spread throughout the room in random fashion. This was cool, as the winos were able to mingle from table to table trying different wines. In this type of set up, no one thinks twice about the wedding party drinking different wine.

Another alternative is to have large format bottles on your table. If someone inquires about them, say it was a gift.
Nothing is tacky or rude in the modern world of weddings. Why not just bill every guest for better wine? I mean that's the latest thing, send your guests a bill in advance so they can pay for the expensive stuff you want at the wedding.

Maybe you could devide it up and give guests the option of paying for good wine, the imported truffles, or the fireworks show afterwards.
I recent friends wedding I went to had the same wine on all tables, but then he provided a few bottles of various wines from his personal cellar to each table early on in the night. This allowed him to drink a few very special bottles on the bridal table (which I was happily part of), whilst providing some excellent and intersting (if not quite as expensive) wines to keep other guests happy. It also allowed the winos to jump between tables to try different wines.
The comparison of steak to hamburgers is a bit excessive; this would be more like serving a conventional USDA choice sirloin to the guests and serving Prime, Dry-Aged or Kobe beef to the bride and groom. Few would be able to tell the difference. But the ones who might know, will certainly know that they aren't getting the same thing that the wedding party is being served.

If I was at a wedding, drinking Roederer Estate champagne and I saw bottles of Dom at the wedding table, part of me (the irrational part) would feel insulted.

Still, who is ever going to be checking on the various wines at the tables? Probably the same people who will count the number of flowers in the centerpiece to see if they have 12 roses like the other tables (there are people who do that!).

I vote for drinking what everyone else drinks, and saving the good stuff for the next night.

PS: I loved Zintastic's idea of a wine-themed dinner with different varietals on each table. Of course, if I got stuck at the White Zinfandel table, I might be upset... Or I might be happy because of my chances of meeting all the cheap, boozey women who will be stopping by my table!
Originally posted by Rothko:
If I was at a wedding, drinking Roederer Estate champagne and I saw bottles of Dom at the wedding table, part of me (the irrational part) would feel insulted.

At a wedding last year, the bride and groom drank Dom while the guests drank, well, not Dom. It wasn't a secret that the couple was drinking something different. We knew that this bottle of Dom was their only one but stored in the poorest of conditions for a number of years so we weren't as impressed as the rest of the guests. Wink

It never really crossed my mind that the bride and groom drinking something different would be inappropriate. It's your what you like. I wouldn't point out to your guests that you're drinking the good stuff though. Wink
I do NOT think it would be appropriate for you to serve a presumably better wine to your whole table, as I understood
from your original post, while the rest drink the "cheap" stuff.
In such a case, you are selecting some guests above others, in a sense.

That said, it would not necessarily be inappropriate for JUST you and the bride to share a special half-bottle (or whole bottle). You could do this openly: "we are going to toast with this special bottle of XXX given by uncle Milt!"
I think you should have a mag of Petrus for you and your lovely wife, and Yellowtail for the rest. Screw 'em.

My wife and I drank Dominus while everyone else had what the hotel provided for wine, Beringer, I believe...

Atta boy, %#&* all of the guests right?

Did you also serve them cheeseburgers while you cut into a filet mignon?
It's interesting how split the forum is on this question.

The debate reveals some real differences in people's philosophy on what a wedding is all about, who it's for, and what the guests' roles are.

One view, which seems quite prevalent today, is that a wedding is all about the couple, and everyone else is there to make the occasion special for the bride and groom. (A variation of this view is the one where it's all about the bride.) A few of the guests may be actual close friends of the couple, but may others are invited only out of a sense of obligation. With luck, it might be the last such obligatory gesture the couple has to make to some of these yutzes before they then spirit themselves away to happy, cocooned coupledom.

Another view (and one which I prefer) is that the wedding celebrates not just the couple but the community of family and friends that makes the marriage possible. The only point in inviting guests is to show them gratitude for the roles they've played in bride & groom's lives leading up to their union. True, the couple gets gifts, but the giving goes both ways. With this view, I'm inclined to come down on the side of saving the special/unique bottle of wine for the honeymoon.
Intersting responses that seem to underscore what I thought.

Personally, I wouldn't be offended, but enough people would that it doesn't seem worth it.

For what its worth, however, the allusions to Yellow Tail are a bit inaccurate. Our assumption is that we'd be serving a JJ Christoffel Spatlese (or similar) and Rosenblum Rockpile Zin (or similar) and Nicolas Fuillate or Pommery Brut Royal.

Saving the good stuff for yourselves at your wedding,what would Dr. evil do? I'm afraid this would not be much of a moral dilema for me,i know that it's a cruel world and life isn't alway fair but at a wedding it's all about the bride and groom's special day, and if they don't drink the good stuff at their own wedding they have nobody to blame but themselves.
Originally posted by Rothko:
PS: I loved Zintastic's idea of a wine-themed dinner with different varietals on each table. Of course, if I got stuck at the White Zinfandel table, I might be upset... Or I might be happy because of my chances of meeting all the cheap, boozey women who will be stopping by my table!

Thanks for the props. Makes my wedding all the more meaningful. Despite my screen name, there was only a Zinfandel table, no White Zin. Although the benefits you mentioned make me wonder if there should have been... Wink
Originally posted by The Artist Formerly known as DJ Hombre:
why a spatlese? cheaper to go w/ a kabinett... and it'd probably just be declassified spatlese anyways.

Perhaps, DJ. Honestly, I posted this because the idea had never occured to me and I was curious if it was commonly done. It isn't like I'm actually picking out the wines yet, so who knows what it will actually be (and frankly, while I have a very rough idea of a budget, we deffinitely don't know what that will be either). Whatever it is, the wine will be tasty. She put her foot down about the city the wedding takes place in, the religious level of the ceremony, and about keeping all dairy out of the party / dinner / reception (strict kosher). I told her fine but I refused to drink mediocre wine on my wedding (and she agreed the wine woudn't be kosher).

Anyway, I imagine there will be a bunch of winos at the wedding and I don't know how I would feel drinking Quintarelli and not offering them any.

My two cents: we thought of our wedding as the best party we would ever be able to host. We switched out beers from the 'standard' list to make sure friends had something they liked and kept the "crap" beer for those guests who actually like it too. That went for some other things too, like having bottles of water as you left because lord knows I always am thirsty after drinking.... That said, we did have a nicer bottle of scotch available at one of the bars and let those of our guests who enjoy good scotch know it was there and that they should request it specifically. Sneaky i guess by some accounts here, but it made a group of guests happy. If you are worried about the winos in the group, see if you can arrange something like that for you and them.

Your specific point though mentioned by others: we paid so little attention to what we were drinking (and where we left the glasses!) that two very nice bottles would have been a waste, even though we appreciated them. This, despite making every effort to slow down and relax. There's such so much going on, it might be better saved for the honeymoon.

It IS done. I have been an attendee at a few weddings like this.

At the first wedding of this type I attended, the groom let the winos know that they should ask for the "good wine" that was held beneath the counter. Only those he told even knew of the existence of the special bottles (unless they told others). This was a nice way of making the winos feel special, and you control who has access to the good stuff. Most of the other attendees would not even know the difference between the good and regular stuff anyway.

That groom also had a special bottle for just he and the bride. Nobody I overheard commented on it, and most did not even know about it. Unfortunately, he did not share that bottle.

This happens more than you would think. As a guest, I have learned to ask for the special bottle of wine at all weddings. You would be surpirsed how often I have received good wine that way, even without being told by the bride or groom!

So let me see if I have this straight: Mike, you go to weddings where you are considered a B list guest, and then you steal wine from the hosts... Stealing being defined in this case as taking something to which you are not entitled.


I am being a bit facetious, of course, but my point is: 1) as a guest you shouldn't have to wonder whether you are on the A list or B list; and 2) if you are not told about the special wine, then you aren't really entitled to drink it.

You may say "Who cares?" But if you were at a wedding reception where the staff was instructed to pour only beer and wine, and you conned the waiter into opening a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue for you (which would be paid for by the hosts), I think that the wedding hosts might be a bit peeved when they got the bill.
Gastro -

"Would it be appropriate for guests to drink better wines than those at the bridal table?"

We actually did this a few years ago. We were at the reception at a country club that has reciprocal privledges with my club. I don't remember what they were serving, but I asked for, and received, a bottle of '96 Cinq Cepages they had on their list... No one really knew about the wine, other than a couple friends with whom I enjoyed sharing the bottle....
Well Andrew since I can't bait you, I guess I'll be serious.

There is no right or wrong answer to your question. The thing to keep in mind is that .... it is yours and the future Mrs. Whiner's day. Your friends and guests are there to share in your joy, not to share your bottle of wine.

It would be very shallow of a guest at your wedding to ever feel insulted if you were drinking something different. Of course, we both know the stuff that occurs at Jewish weddings.

As such I think I have arrived at a reasonable solution to your situation. I am shocked no one has suggested it.

Why not just have the wine that you will share with the Mrs. put into a decanter. You get to enjoy your special wine, your guests will enjoy whatever you decide to serve and no one is the wiser for it. it gives no one anything to be jealous over.
Go right ahead. Speaking from experience:
1) No one will notice that your Champagne is different.

2) Most people at weddings take a sip of Champagne at the toast, and ignore the rest of the glass. Most wedding Champagne gets dumped. So serving great stuff to the masses is a waste, and at the same time, there is no reason for you to drink anything but the best at your wedding.

3) To those that are suggesting that you share a better bottle "after the reception", well, by the time our reception was over, I couldn't stand the thought of more alcohol. A nice bottle of wine at 1:00 a.m. would have been a waste. I'm glad we had our better bottle(s) at 7:00 with dinner.

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