Wedding Wines & Champagne – For The Budget Conscious and For Those That Want to Break the Bank!
Selecting a sparkling and still wine for your wedding shouldn’t add any more stress to your planning. Many times the venue will limit you to their wine list, and paying corkage for several bottles to bring in is a costly alternative. However, if the wine is important to you, there are ways to solve the problem.
For me it was easy, I chose a venue that would accommodate my wines: my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s backyard. If you are using a wedding coordinator discuss your desires now; they should be able to come up with some ideas for wine-friendly venues. And, if you are a real wine lover, consider sharing your vows at your favorite winery! Problem solved!
The wines we chose back when we got married may not be available now but the rules of food pairings, and the necessary wedding toast, still apply. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or a white Rhone for light foods – salmon, roasted chicken, pork – and anything from a Cabernet Sauvignon (or Bordeaux blend) to Zinfandel for a robust meat lover’s dish – steak, tri tip, prime rib.
The Champagne toast is important and the wine for that should be the best you can afford. It’s a big part of your celebration, so bringing out fresh iced bottles ready to pop makes it distinctive. If you want to serve a sparkling wine throughout the wedding you don’t need to use your special toasting wine for that.
Depending on your budget and your wine interests the field is pretty open. If you are a wine club member check with those wineries first. They may offer you a special rate as you are buying a larger amount – additional to your club’s commitment. (Make sure you let them know that you will tag them in a social media post – that can’t hurt!)
For the Budget Conscious: Try Trader Joe’s wines. I’ve been very lucky buying their wines for all kinds of tasting events. You can buy ones that interest you, taste at home with your fiancé, or at your bachelor or bachelorette party, and then make some choices. You can also do the same thing with the frequent nickel sales at Bev Mo. (For sparkling try the line-up of Gruet from New Mexico at Bev Mo.)
My Break the Bank suggestions include Bordeaux wines that I’ve been lucky enough to taste myself (some via a real visit) and I am confident that any vintage year would suffice. Bordeaux wines from: Chateau Angelus, Chateau Lynch Bages, Chateau Le Grand Verdus, Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Chateau Pichon Baron, Chateau Fleur Cardinale, Chateau Smith Havt Lafitte, Chateau Gruaud Larose, Chateau Hawt-Batailley, Chateau d’Armaillhac, Chateau Cotes de Bonde, Chateau Ormes de Pez…and vintage or non-vintage Champagnes from some of these favorites: Comtes de Dampiere, Armande de Brignac, Jacquart, Pol Roger, Louis Roederer, Laurent-Perrier, Bollinger and that fancy floral bottle from Perrier-Jouet…
Virtual cheers and congratulations!
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email [email protected] to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via [email protected]