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Wedding Bubbly

With so many sparkling wines in the market, how do you choose the right one for your wedding?

With so many sparkling wines in the market, how do you choose the right one for your wedding? To help you select we have enlisted the help of sommelier and brand ambassador for Remy Martin, Dan Volway.

The seemingly, endless list of sparkling wine available today will make it easy for any bridal couple to find a style of sparkling wine that suits their wedding. Picking a bone dry brut zero or an elegant fruity rose will depend on your guests and wedding style. But, in order to make a knowledgeable choice, it‘s important to learn a few facts and taste-test a few varieties to familiarize yourself with the different types of sparkling wines available. 

What is Champagne?
Champagne is a type of sparkling wine. Champagne is made only from grapes of the Champagne region of France. Under French law, sparkling wines must be made using a special process called champenoise or champagne method.
Bubbly wine created in other parts of the world, even though they use the traditional method, should be referred to as sparkling wines. This does not necessarily mean they are of lower quality.

Three Types of Sparkling Wine
Light-Bodied Sparkling Wines - are smooth with sweet fragrance but never sugary.  You can never go wrong with a Prosecco which delivers a great bang for your buck and is one of my favorite light sparkling wines for the price.” says Dan Volway.  These sparking wines are great for an outdoor summer weddings.

LCBO 897702 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 15.50

Italy | La Marca
VINTAGES 927004 | 750 mL | $ 19.95

Medium –Bodied Sparkling Wines – usually are balanced in that they are medium in flavour, body and weight.  Dry medium champagne typically has yeastiness but will have traces of nuts and lemons that will remind the drinker that it’s a medium-bodied sparkling wine.  In the non-champagne category Dan recommends a Cordorniu Cava (Spain) or a Henry of Pelham’s Cuvee Rose. Both of these wines are made in the “Traditional Method” (second fermentation takes place in the bottle) which is how Champagne is produced. These sparkling wines are great for a raw-bar reception or fish /chicken entrées for a sit down celebration.

VINTAGES 521773 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 14.95
Wine, Sparkling Wine,
12.1% Alcohol/Vol.

HENRY OF PELHAM “Cuvee Catherine” Rose
VINTAGES 291112 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 29.95
Wine, Sparkling Wine,
13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Full- Bodied Sparkling Wines – are rich in flavour and texture. These sparkling wines are much drier and have definite yeasty and zesty characteristics. In the NV Champagne sect my two “tried and true” houses, says Dan, are PiperHeidsieck Brut and Lanson "Black Label".  If you can afford it, this voluptuous wine is great for a winter wedding as it goes well with root vegetables and heavier meat dishes.

LCBO 462432 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 57.65
Wine, Champagne, White Champagne
12.0% Alcohol/Vol.

LCBO 41889 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 49.95

Picking Sparkling Wine means setting-up some taste testing opportunities, here are a few suggestions:

• Find a grower-producer in your area and ask if you can set up an appointment to sample some of their selections. This will save money as the fruit is the most costly ingredient when producing sparkling wine. A local producer eliminates the middleman and by choosing a local winery, you’ll be introducing a new name to all your guests.

• If brand recognition is something you’re looking for, contact a local LCBO consultant and consider a lesser known bottle from a renowned house to save money. Ask for help picking something other then an entry-level offering – maybe a new bottle that has just launched.  Purchase a few bottles to try or ask if the house has a representative you can contact. Once your guests try it they will remember it and associate it with your special day.

• Pick a sparkling wine you like. After all, you should like the champagne that your wedding party is toasting you with!

Finally, “How much do you order?”
 The general rule of thumb is three cases for every hundred guests and four if you’re planning to serve champagne during dinner. You may also want a few bottles for the after party.