GIANT WINE BOTTLES
I READ IN A MAGAZINE ABOUT HAVING A LARGE, GIANT WINE BOTTLE FOR ALL GUESTS AS A "DIFFERENT" IDEA. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GREAT TO GO AROUND THE CORKAGE FEE THAT HOTELS CHARGE. YOU WOULD ONLY HAVE 1 BOTTLE VERSUS 10 OR MORE DEPENDING ON YOUR GUESTLIST! BUT THE ONLY PROBLEM IS...I CAN'T FIND WHERE TO BUY THIS GIANT BOTTLE! THE MAGAZINE LISTED WWW.WINE.COM BUT I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET ANY INFORMATION. IF ANYONE KNOWS WHERE I CAN PURCHASE OR ORDER THIS GIANT BOTTLE...PLEASE LET ME KNOW. THANKS.
RE: GIANT WINE BOTTLES
Most of the time I have only found the large bottles of wine at the wineries themselves. You can contact them and see. Also specialty wine shops would be able to order them in. Most of the time they are a special vintners reserve. You don't say where you live but you can do a search on the web for wineries closest to your area. :9
RE: GIANT WINE BOTTLES
Ask your local liquor store to order one in for you, or to put you in touch with one of their wine vendors. The vendor can't sell it to you directly, but they know a lot more about wine than the average sales clerk at the liquor store. If you have a favorite wine, ask the manager which vendor carries it (they usually have "exclusives" from the vineyards to be the only guy in the area to sell that wine). Then call them and ask if it's available in a 3 liter. If not, they should know enough about their wine to suggest a comparable wine at a comparable price that does.
WARNING: If you've never used these bottles before, they are a major pain in the ass to open and pour from. Because of this, I would ask the caterer if they will still only charge one cork fee, or if they charge a fee for each "equivilant" bottle (a bottle of wine is 750 ml; so a 3 liter would be 4 bottles). Also ask if the servers have experience opening these bottles, and if they have decanters available to pour the wine into, so that it is easier to pour into the glasses. They use a dense wax seal over the cork rather than the usual aluminum foil. The fastest way to remove this is with a lighter, and it still takes several minutes. Once that's removed, the cork can be removed with a standard cork screw, but it's oversized to accomodate the larger mouth of the bottle, so that can take some time to remove as well.
Bottom line: check with the caterer, tell them what you're planning on doing, and ask questions.
UPDATE RE: GIANT WINE BOTTLES
After all my time spent on research for the large format wine bottles, I came into contact with a very nice woman at one of the vineyards. She told me that they kept empty wine bottles after hosting wedding receptions at their vineyard and re-use the bottles by pouring in their own wine at a later date for use.
I also realized that it would be less expensive if I was able to purchase an empty wine bottle. A "VERY" nice winery told me where they purchase their wine bottles from. I contacted the bottling company and they are able to custom make a wine bottle of any size you wish. The largest bottle they have ready for sale and pick up is 18 liters and the cost is $150! To me, this was a fantastic value because I was more concerned about a large bottle than the wine that would be in it. I am planning on having all guests sign the bottle for our souvenir and as an alternative to a guestbook!