A wedding ceremony and celebration is a formal recognition of a union between two adults who are pledging their love and fidelity to each other. Often a toast with a sparkling wine is offered by a chosen member of the wedding party, and on some occasions, the toast is offered by the bride and groom to their families and guests.

The toast is sometimes serious, but often humorous. Traditionally, a sparkling wine is the style of wine chosen to fill the glasses which are raised to wish the happy couple health, happiness and prosperity.

It’s important to realize that there is a vast price differential between French Champagne and sparkling wine alternatives. Here are some guidelines to help you select the most appropriate wines to offer. Usually, the decision is driven by budgets and how important a priority wine is during the evening’s celebration.

The toast is usually a smaller portion, and 2 ounces is the standard. A typical, standard size 750ml bottle of wine will contain 12 portions. One case of 12 bottles will yield servings for 144 people.

French Champagne — $$$$

If you wish to impress, pull out all the stops:

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Rose — Bright salmon in color with the aromas of crushed strawberries. Elegant and full-bodied. Very Dry.

California Sparkling Wine - $$$

Iron Horse Wedding Cuvee Vintage — Estate produced in the Russian River. Delicate, subtle and vintage dated. Dry.

Imported Sparkling Wine — $$

Avissi Prosecco from Italy — Light golden in color, stylishly approachable. Medium dry and light bodied.

Codorniu Cava from Spain — Pale 14k gold color. Medium bodied and dry.

Domestic Sparkling Wine — $

J. Roget or Andre “Champagne” Spumante — These two carbonated wines are fizzy without depth or richness. Simple with a touch of sweetness.

These two last selections are sweet in style and are wines that have been artificially carbonated with CO2 gas.

Discuss with your caterer whether you can bring your own wine to be served. If so, be prepared to pay a per bottle fee of $10-20.

Reception and Dinner

Still wines served to guests at bar stations and at dinner service should be user-friendly and chosen to appeal to the vast majority of consumers.

Lighter bodied and more subtle styled wines produced from these familiar varietals will please most guests. Keep in mind to select wines you like because it’s a sharing of the love that the couple wishes to enjoy with their guests.

Crowd-Pleasing Whites and Reds

Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Malbec, Chardonnay, Merlot

For a full-bodied red wine, consider a California Cabernet Sauvignon.

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