Add Sparkle to Your Wedding Day
Champagne is the most romantic of wines, and it’s a time-honored tradition to toast the new bride and groom with a shimmering glass of champagne or sparkling wine.
Wedding planners offer the following tips for selecting and serving just the right bubbly for your special day:
– Figure on one bottle of sparkling wine for every six to eight guests.
– Have the tables set with tulip-shaped glasses or champagne flutes. The wide, shallow glass so often seen at weddings is the worst choice for sparkling wines. A tall, slender glass allows the fine bubbles to rise without disappearing too quickly.
– Consider a California sparkler. These native wines have made great strides in recent years, and wine connoisseurs say the quality of many California sparkling wines is equal to their French counterparts from the famous Champagne region. (Only sparkling wines made in Champagne can be called “champagne,” so California wines with bubbles are called “sparkling wines.”)
– Many of the California wineries are owned by French houses. One of the best is Roederer Estate, the California sibling of the centuries-old firm of Champagne Louis Roederer, makers of the famous Cristal champagne. The Roederer Estate Brut is more affordable than real champagne, but many critics believe it’s just as good.
– If budget is a concern, consider a “two-tier” system – buy several cases of a lower-priced sparkler for the majority of your guests and a few special bottles for the wedding party.
– Want to really make a statement? Don’t reserve the sparkling wine for just the toast. Instead, serve sparkling wine throughout the entire meal and enhance the festive mood of your special occasion.
– “The French have long known that champagnes and sparkling wines are perfect partners for a wide range of foods,” says Roederer Estate winemaker Arnaud Weyrich. Today’s adventurous chefs serve sparkling wines with everything from light fish and poultry dishes with cream sauces to spicy ethnic foods. Ask your caterer for menu suggestions.
– Consider champagne or sparkling wine as gifts for the bridal party and anyone else who helped smooth the way for a perfect wedding day. A bottle of champagne and a champagne bucket will let them relive the happiness of your wedding with their own special someone.
– Give special guests – mom and dad, grandma, and your favorite cousin – corks from champagne popped for the occasion. Mark the corks “Sarah and Mike’s Wedding,” with the date, for a wonderful wedding memento.
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