Wedding party 2 of 5

Continued advice to everyone planning nuptials or hardy parties.

Money probably matters at your wedding, often the biggest party you put on in your life. Even if you are throwing a smaller party, money matters. Crass but true.

Although wine lovers may sigh, you can save money by serving box wine.

Example: a party for 50 wine drinkers will consume 200 pours of five ounces during a three-hour party (remember rule: number of hours plus one equals number of drinks per person).

You get 33 five-ounce pours in 5-liter box of wine, so you will need six 5-liter boxes. Cheaper boxes cost around $14, so you can get by spending around $85 using box wine.

Box wine tip: colder the wine, less you can taste it.

Decant box wine into carafes. Chill carafes in ice water, not just on ice. Carafes will chill in about 10 minutes. Take the reds out first, since they should be warmer than the whites, although with boxed, doesn’t make much difference. Added carafe benefit: guests don’t see ugly box.

Box wine has big advantage over bottles—it stays fresh for weeks. Higher quality wines also now come in boxes, usually 3-liter size (worth 20 pours). There will not be a left-bank Bordeaux-in-a-box this year, but you can get very reasonable quality.

If a guest complains, ask them to foot the bill.


• Franzia House Vintner Select. Four different varietals; 5-liter box. $14

• Almaden Varietals. Eight different varietals; 5-liter box. $15

• Hardy’s Stamp of Australia. Five different varieties and a Shiraz-Grenache blend; 3 -liter box. $16

• Black Box. Nine different varietals, often cited as “best of the boxes;” you don’t have to chill; 3 -liter box. $18-$25 (price varies with varietal).