Picture yourself a few weeks away from your wedding. The menu is set, you’ve had your final fitting, and you've perfected your first dance moves. Every detail has been meticulously considered and planned except for one: the Champagne. We're not talking about the affordable bottle that was bought by the case and will be served to all your guests all night, but that special pick that is reserved for the newlyweds (and maybe also their wedding party) to toast the start of their life together.
Of course there are the classic favorites, from Moët to Veuve, but why not expand your palette even further and choose something a little more special and personal, like everything else in your wedding? We asked sommelier extraordinaire Ashley Ragovin, founder of the boutique wine club and online shop Pour This for some choice bubbly bottles that are perfect for toasting your wedding or any noteworthy event.
VIDEO: How to Pick the Right Rosé
And even if you do end up defaulting to your go to bottle in the end, at least you will have had some fun conducting the research.
1. Jean Bourdy Cremant du Jura, NV (Jura, France)
Try Sparkling wine made in the same method as Champagne proper; this favorite of mine is from a domaine that has some deep history. For fifteen generations, the farming practices have remained the same, passed from father to son, or mother to daughter. It’s concentrated and lively, with crunchy acidity and a little salty yellow fruit, with complex herbs and spices woven throughout - it's totally delicious. Plus, the 500 years of family history can only be a good omen for your nuptials.
2. Les Capriades Pet-Sec (Loire Valley, France)
This is a fairy tale wine that’s as delightful as it is practically non-existent – there’s so little of it even made! It’s far from sweet, but hints of white peach, and golden apricot are as delicate as lace, and fresh wildflowers compliment your bouquet just so - this is utter romance in a bottle. Perfect for the barefoot outdoor wedding in the springtime!
3. Pierre Gerbais Champagne (Aube, Champagne)
So you wanna ball out, go for the real deal, it’s your wedding for goodness sake! But wait: before you reach for a big name brand with a bright orange label, opt instead for Grower Champagne. Only about 5% of France’s Champagne exported to U.S. is in this category, but it’s getting much easier to find, and it’s truly worth it. Often less expensive than the commercial stuff, and always infinitely better-tasting and more special. This one from Aube is one of my favorites. It comes from an organic estate as is a study in precision, purity, and age-worthiness. And not to be shallow, but you won't find a more stunning, wedding-appropriate label out there. This wine is guaranteed to impress, but be warned, it may steal the spotlight from your dress! Tastes like fresh toast with butter, orange marmalade, luxuriously rich with a bright, clean finish. A stunner.
4. Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Brut NV (Loire, France)
Another sparkler made with the same strict practices as Champagne, except with Chenin Blanc, one of the world’s great varietals. A burst of sunlit, fleshy fruit laced with honey and herbs, followed by a crisp, dry smack in the mouth. This wine is dense and concentrated, classy as it gets. The NV (non vintage) is an insane value for a wine of this pedigree and quality, but why not crank it up a notch and toast with some vintage bubbles? 2007 is the current release for the reserve bottling - make sure to squirrel some away to pop on your 10 year anniversary - this wine will only get better with time. Like your marriage!
5. Recaredo Cava ‘Intens’ Rosat, 2012 (Spain)
So you want a splash of color? Well not all Rosés are created equal, and the same goes for Cava. But this is the first biodynamic Cava to be imported into the U.S. and it is a very special wine. All of the fruit is hand picked and sourced from two small plots of old vines, and it’s also made using the traditional Champagne method including hand disgorgment. This is bone dry deliciousness with a hint of red berry and extremely food friendly - have the cheesy hors d’oeuvres at the ready, just watch the white dress.