You’re planning your fairy-tale wedding. You have the venue–the little place less than a mile from the chapel that was a steal. You might even have the Tiffany’s (TIF) bands picked. But do you have the bubbly for that special toast?
The first "sip" in the right direction requires setting a budget. According to many experts, wedding food and wine will take up about 40% of your overall wedding expenses. That is why it is important to know what you want to spend. “It’s fruitless decide you like Dom Perignon if your budget is $15.99 [per bottle],” says Ray Isle, deputy editor at Food & Wine magazine. “You’re not going to be able to touch Champagne from Champagne region of France for less than $30 retail.”
Once you determine your price point, then consider what kind of sparkling beverage you want to serve: rose, champagne, sparkling wine, cava or maybe even a non-alcoholic beverage. It’s your day, and your decision. Have a private tasting. “For every wine, buy two or three different ones and sit down and just have fun, says Isle. “Get some take out food and talk about them.” Whether you’re planning a graduation or a picnic in the park–bubbly can work with any occasion. The most important thing is to shop around because prices vary by store and some even offer discounts when you purchase by the case.
MainStreet went in search of recommendations:
If you’re looking for a bubbly with a slight blush, then a rose might suit your palate.
Suggested Labels: Ruinart Rose ($62) and Taittinger Rose ($59)
Tastings Notes: “It tends to be a more robust and bigger wine because they use some red grapes,” says Isle.
A wine with this historic label comes from the Champagne region of France.
Suggested Labels: Pol Roger ($30) and Bollinger Brut ($40)
Tastings Notes: Both champagnes are “terrific,” says Isle.
SPARKLING, INCLUDING PROSECCO
Any bubbly that’s not from the Champagne region of France falls under the label of sparkling wine. Those from Italy are called Prosecco. The United States shipped more than 16.7 million gallons of sparkling wine in 2007, according to the Wine Institute.
Suggested Labels: Roederer Estate ($20) and Nino Franco “Rustico” Prosecco ($20)
Tastings Notes: "Prosecco is gentler than champagne, not bone dry and [has] a little more fruit,” says Jeff Walden, assistant manager at 7th Avenue Wine, a wine store in Brooklyn, N.Y.
If you’re looking for a sparkling wine from Spain, which is very popular now, then check out sparklers with this label.
Suggested Labels: Cristalino Cava ($7) and Segura Viudas ($11)
Tastings Notes: “Not as complex as champagne, but a terrific if you’re on a budget,” says Isle.
For the bride and groom who favor an alcohol-free bubbly.
Suggest Labels: Martinelli ($3)
Tastings Notes: "It’s really good and it also feels festive," says Isle. "People that aren’t drinking won't feel excluded from the fun."