Delicious Red Wines Perfect for Your Winter Wedding or Rehearsal Dinner
There's no doubt about it: Your wedding's open bar will take up a hefty chunk of your reception budget. Whether you choose to purchase an assortment of different bottles or want to go all out and hire a mixologist to craft custom sips, know that wedding-day alcohol is generally associated with a big price tag. That's why you might think it's necessary to splurge on every bottle you'll serve, but that's not always the case. This is especially true when it comes to red wine, since quality and affordability are not mutually exclusive.
While we're all for the occasional splurge, there are plenty of affordable reds out there that taste as delicious as their pricier counterparts. Here, you'll find a list of red wines that'll satisfy your guests and, even more importantly, your budget. These wines hail everywhere from Sonoma County, California, to Ampuis, France, and are sure to impress even the most esteemed sommelier of the bunch. The best part? Since the price is right (the majority these bottles are under $100, and many fall well below the $20 mark!), you'll be able to buy yourself case after case of these bottles, so you can celebrate future occasions with your wedding wine. But we included a few splurges, too, in case you wanted something special for just you and your significant other to enjoy.
If you're not providing the vino for your reception, know that these bottles open just as well at pre-wedding events, like your engagement party, bridal shower, or rehearsal dinner. Even better, these go-to reds pair well with nearly any type of cuisine, so whether you're serving food truck treats at your welcome party or an elaborate fish dinner at the reception, there's varietal here you're sure to love.
It's safe to say that notes of chocolate in wine are always delightful.In addition to dark chocolate notes, this pinot noir also has hints of Morelle cherry and bramble.
Shop Now: Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2016, $44.99, wine.com.
Antica Napa Valley
This Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect for anyone looking for a that features a blend of fruit, spice, and savory notes. Though it's a bit of a splurge, it's the perfect bottle for just the bride and groom at the wedding, or to share with immediate family during the rehearsal dinner.
Shop Now: 2015 Antica Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $60, wine.com.
Harvey & Harriet
This wine's comforting combination of Cabernet, Petit Verdot, and Syrah is perfect year-round, but especially nice when the weather gets cool.
Shop Now: Harvey & Harriet, $50, myfavoriteneighbor.com.
A midsummer garden ceremony calls for this rhubarb- and rose petal-forward pinot noir.
Shop Now: Locations OR Pinot Noir, price dependent on region, locationswine.com.
For wine-aficionados looking for hints of fruit in their bottle, this pinot noir has you covered. The wine features notes of fresh black cherry, Santa Rosa plum, and licorice flavors. Its affordable price point is just right for a large gathering, too.
Shop Now: Smoke Tree Pinot Noir 2016, $21.99, wine.com.
Meiomi's 2016 Pinot Noir tastes opens with notes that'll remind you of strawberry jam in the summertime. Uncork this if you're serving tomato-based pasta dishes, pizza, grilled lamb, or turkey.
Shop Now: Meiomi 2016 Pinot Noir, $23.99, vivino.com.
If you're planning to serve a grilled entrée or a chocolate wedding cake, reach for this plum- and spice-forward bottle. It'll complement both flavors nicely.
Shop Now: The Seeker Red Blend, $10.99, wine.com.
In a random taste test, this was the reigning favorite with our editors. The perfect balance between sweet, spicy, and tart, this wine pairs best with finely-aged cheese.
Shop Now: Campofiorin Rosso Del Veronese, $12.99, vivino.com.
With notes of spice and dark berry, this bottle of vino is well-suited to a cold-weather celebration.
Shop Now: Cloudy Bay Te Wahi 2015, $79.99, wine.com.
If you're a fan of sweeter wines (hey, Moscato lovers!), you'll love Tom Gore's 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. This vino tastes like cherries, and while it's delicious all on its own, is even better when served with dinner.
Shop Now: Tom Gore 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, $12.99, vivino.com.
This Monterey County, California, red blend is light and relatively neutral—think mildly fruity, with just a hint of spice.
Shop Now: McBride Sisters Collection 2015 Red Blend Central Coast, $16.99, vivino.com.
The most amazing thing about Guigal's 2013 Côtes du Rhône Rouge? The family selects just 1% of the wine they taste from those growers to craft this full-bodied bottle. The bar is that high.
Shop Now: E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge, $15.99, vivino.com.
A blend of 60% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella, and 15% Molinara, Tommasi's 2015 Rafael Valpolicella is mellow, soft, and easy to drink—but packs just the right amount of kick.
Shop Now: Tommasi 2015 Rafael Valpolicella, $16.99, vivino.com.
Tart and dry wine lovers, this Mendocino County Pinot Noir is for you.
Shop Now: Bonterra 2016 Pinot Noir, $20.99, wine.com.
Gabbiano Chianti Classico will practically transport you to a Tuscan estate.
Shop Now: Gabbiano Chianti Classico, $18.99, wine.com.
This 2016 Pinot Noir is the most spice-forward of the bunch—and is likely already a favorite among your guests.
Shop Now: The Pinot Project 2016 Pinot Noir, $13.99, wine.com.
This medium-bodied red is the best choice if you're throwing a casual wedding. Light and smooth, this is just as good for a special occasion as it is for every day.
Shop Now: Josh Cellars Legacy Red Blend, $14.99, wine.com.
C'est La Vie
Not a fan of oaky or smoky reds? Put this Pinot Noir on your radar. This bottle goes down easy, and would be perfect for an after party—especially if you're serving pizza.
Shop Now: C’est La Vie Pinot Noir Syrah, $12.99, oakandbarrel.com.
In addition to having a complex, plum- and cherry-rich aroma and lingering finish, this Zinfandel also happens to be another one of Martha Stewart's picks.
Shop Now: 2017 Sierra Trails Old Vine Zinfandel, $14.99, marthastewartwine.com.
This light and fruity crowdpleaser will even impress guests who typically prefer white.
Shop Now: Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages 2016, $12, vivino.com.
Serving up gourmet cuisine at a black-tie event? This figgy Malbec is your best bet, and will fool everyone into thinking it's $30 more a bottle than it actually costs.
Shop Now: Bodega Septima Malbec, $13.99, vivino.com.
You and your guests don't have to be big red wine drinkers to enjoy this bottle. Balanced and approachable, this Cabernet Sauvignon is an easy introduction to the red family.
Shop Now: Bacchus Cabernet Sauvignon, $10, astorwines.com.