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Wedding Champagne recommendations?

Any rec's for a decent wedding champagne to be served to guests? And one for the bride/groom table?

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  1. Do you want actual champagne, or are you amenable to sparkling wine? I like the Anderson Valley Roederer sparkling wine - just served it at a party on Sunday. It's about $17.99 in the NYC area.

    1. I agree with Anderson Valley Roederer. Also Domaine Chandon makes some some nice California sparkling at a about $12 to $15. I also enjoy the Mumm California offerings. All good values.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Wineman

        I will third the recommendation for Roederer, even if you have the budget to spend $40/bottle for Veuve Cliquot.

        a) your wedding guests probably won't be examining the champagne that closely
        b) $40/bottle really adds up quickly, and at a wedding I know my friends would be POed if champagne ran out!
        c) Most people don't drink bubbly regularly, and unless they do I doubt they'll be able to tell the difference between the Roederer and something $40. The Roederer is solid.

        For the bride and groom, I would actually forego quality/expense for the sake of choosing whichever high end champagne has the LEAST % alcohol. All those toasts? I'd pass out even if I took pretend sips.

      2. Veuve Clicquot NV for the wedding.

        For the bride and groom, 3 good choices are:
        1. Cristal
        2. Krug
        3. Veuve Clicquot "La Grande Dame"

        1. For the Bride and Groom?

          Try something a bit different. Rose Champagne. Laurent Perrier Alexandra Cuvee... wow.

          If you don't want the Bride/Groom's wine to look too different from everyone else... Very recently Taittinger re-released their '96 Comte de Champagne Blanc de Blanc and you can find it for around $100 per in most good wine shops. An EXCELLENT wine, especially for that price.

          1. What is your budget, and how many people will you be serving? The type of reception will dictate volume (e.g. time of day, meal being served, bar with alternative alcohol beverage options). If a sparkling wine is to be the primary alcoholic beverage and budget is limited, I echo the previous recommendations of NV Roederer Estates. This property is affiliated with the French house and produces a very nice non-vintage wine. I have conducted many blind tastings of NV Champagnes and their American equivalents, throwing in a DP for giggles and grins. The NV Roederer Estates has been a consistent #1 - and this is with trade people as well as regular consumers. Another fun wine for guests is Iron Horse Wedding Cuvee. This was first produced for the owner's daughter's wedding.

            If you want to stay domestic and have something special for the bride and groom, consider Domaine Carneros "le Reve" - the Dream. It is French in style.

            If budget is not a particular issue, check with your local merchant about some smaller producers:

            Demeric; Lallemont; LeClerc Briant; Tarlant; Rene Collard

            This is the time of year to be tasting since many merchants host Champagne tastings to secure the holiday orders from the clients. My personal favourites are the rose's being produced in Champagne. Delicious!

            1. You may also do well with a prosecco for guests. I've found
              Canella NV Prosecco di Conegliano to be a reliable and affordable choice (under $17 a bottle if you have a large guest list) As for the bride/groom table, I'm guessing you might be one or the other? Why not have fun and try some different champagnes with your fiance(e)?

              1. For the Bride and Groom, Champagne Jaquesson Avize Grand Cru '95 or '96. Its estate grown and known for quality not marketing.

                For the guests, to be interesting, Gruet Blanc du Noirs. Made in Albaquerque New Mexico by a french family, great bubbly for the price.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Andrewski

                  Andrewski knows wine! These are excellent choices that 99.9% of people wouldn't know. You are obviously a very knowledgable wine lover with a good palate. Thanks for bringing these items to everyone's attention... chowhound comes thru again!

                2. Don't over look Spanish Cava - the most widely known example is Freixenet - they are inexpensive and pretty good sparklers

                  1. If your looking for inexpensive, but well received and delicious look for Segura Viudas -- a sparkler from Spain (like a champagne) that has done well in ratings (~90-92) for about $6 a bottle. Worth a taste test at least!

                    1. Warning - Low Budget ahead!

                      At home we both like the Spanish Cava "Cristalino" - $6

                      For parties we buy the magnum of Francois Montand Blanc de blancs for $20 at Total Wine. It's decent French bubbly, but not "AOC Champagne."

                      Get a case of Welch's sparkling white grape juice for the kids and nondrinkers.

                      For the bride & groom? drink what the guests are having, if you want an expensive bottle for them buy a good cab or bordeaux for the honeymoon.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: AreBe

                        Echo that on the cava. Here is a good one that you can get for $12 a bottle - The 2001 Marquis Gelida Brut Exclusive. Vintage, real cork, nice bottle and great taste. Cristalino is very good too. Tastes like a $30 bottle. I have also had the Francois Montand and it was very good for the price point. Has nice yeasty flavor. For an excellent champagne that won't set you back, try the DuVal-Leroy NV Brut. Made WS Top 100 of 2006 (#42). You can find it for $30 - $35. I found this at Roots Cellars in Healdsburg, CA. They ship.

                        1. re: AreBe

                          Yes, Cristalino, is good - I would second that recommendation. I wanted to post it originally when I mentioned Spanish Cava, but had completely blanked on the name.

                          1. re: djohnson22

                            I disagree with Cristalino as it lacks any flavor. I am not a Spanish Cava fan and would recommend Domaine Carneros Brut 05 or 06 for around $20.

                        2. I don't suppose you could give us:

                          -- a budget of some sort (no point in suggesting wines which are too expensive, nor is there any point in suggesting some passable cheapie if you have the budget to spend a little more and get something much better);

                          -- an idea of where you live (no point in recommending wines not available in your area).


                          1. Only one suggestion -- serve in Magnums or larger. There is nothing classier in this world than having a waiter walk around a wedding pouring champagne out of a large Magnum or Jerebaum of Champagne. Get some really big bottles; the price is the same or cheaper.

                            And forget anything domestic; pour real Champagnes, from France. Its makes a difference. The suggestions above are all sound.

                            To summarize, buy two or three magnums of real Champagne, from France, and have the waiter carry those big bottles around and pour refills. Class.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: bengoshi

                              Actually magnums of Champagne always cost more than two 750ml bottles. This is not true, though, when it comes to mass-produced (Charmat/cuve close) sparkling wines, nor even of some California sparkling wines produced via methode traditionelle.

                            2. Budget is $ 17-30/ bottle. I'd prefer the 20-25 range,but if there are good champagnes or proseccos at 17 or 18 I am not opposed. The guest list is about 60.

                              1. Oh and I live in NYC.

                                1. Under $30 for true Champagne is difficult. Not impossible, but certainly difficult. In the "under $30" category, I'd opt for either California sparkling wines (in addition to the always wonderful Roederer Estate previously mentioned, I'd also look for Domaine Carneros, either their Brut or their Brut Rose -- Taittinger's California property), or for some non-Champagne French sparkling wines, such as the Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut or their delicious Brut Rose or a Cremant de Bourgogne from Les Acacias (CCV); also perhaps a Vin du Buguey-Cerdon from Bottex or Renardat-F√Ęche.

                                  Other options do indeed include Prosecco, and there are some wonderful examples available. Among my favorites is the Adami Prosecco di Valdobbiadene; also, Silvano and Alberta Follador, Ruggeri, and more.

                                  Another option would be Gruet.

                                  1. Pol Roger NV is the best Champagne under $30, e.g.

                                    $23.99 at WineLibrary.com

                                    1. I just had a bottle of Costco Kirkland Champagne (real French stuff) and found it to be very good and an excellent value ($19.99 750 mL). However, many people would probaby think the hosts were cheapskates at a wedding for serving a "generic" label, even though it is very good. If the glasses are filled outside the guests view, that would be my recommendation for the guests.

                                      If the bottles are taken to the tables, I would echo the recommendation to serve from magnums (1.5L) or bigger just for the visual effect. I have always loved the Chandon sparking wines from Napa, and they are a great value and available in magnums; I prefer the Blanc de Noirs myself, but the Brut may be more traditional for a wedding. If money is no object, splurge on some of the excellent French suggestions above - but most guests will not notice the difference.

                                      For the bride & groom I would choose a nice bottle of Clicquot La Grand Dame; the Rose would be excellent, but the Brut would look like everyone else's glasses.

                                      1. Another costco suggestion, they have a french brut champagne, I can't remember the brand, in a magnum for $20!! It's really not bad, I've had it twice.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: saeyedoc

                                          For clarity... I'd venture so say that what you bought at Costco was not a French
                                          champagne. At, $20 for a magnum it can't possibly be champagne. It was probably a sparkling wine, most likely from Spain. In any case, if you liked it that's all that matters... and Magnums are the perfect size!

                                          1. re: WineTravel

                                            Nope, it is the real stuff. It comes from Verzeney, France, and Costco went through a major deal of paperwork to make sure it was truly a real French champagne. Costco was awarded the use in 2005 by the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne. It is real French champagne for $19.99, and it tastes pretty darn good!

                                        2. I agree with what appears to be the overall majority, Roederer Estate and Clicquot.

                                          1. nino franco prosecco. around $12 or 15 a bottle.
                                            excellent stuff.

                                            1. You could still go French, but avoid real Champagne to be budget-friendly. For New Year's this year we went with a Vouvray Brut, "Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Brut", which we thought was excellent and only $20 (Canadian Dollars, to be specific) a bottle. That particular one is organic as well.

                                              1. Update please: Any new recommendations for champagne to serve at my daughter's wedding for the end of November,2010? We will be having a reception/dinner after the ceremony. Since we are having a bar for the reception and wine with dinner the champagne/sparkling wine would be mainly for toasting. I noticed there were some California sparkling wines mentioned so I would be interested if those recommended are still good choices. Hopefully the price per bottle would be less than 20.00. Thank you so much.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: foodseek

                                                  The Anderson Valley Roederer is still an excellent value. In the New York market its price varies from $18 to about $23 per bottle, but you'd be getting a case price, I'd presume.

                                                  However, the Gruet Blanc de Noirs has replaced the Roederer Anderson Valley as our house sparkling. For $10.99 per bottle, it just cannot be beat. ;) (and truth to tell, it's better than many sparkling wines that cost twice the price.)

                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                    ChefJune: I had the Gruet about 3 years ago at a suggestion of a friend and was suspicious when I saw New Mexico, but was blown away when I tasted it and still get it often. Great suggestion.
                                                    Foodseek: I would also look at the Cristalino Brut Cava (Wine Spectator gave it a 91 rating) which is mentioned above and at around $8-10/bottle, I think this is one of the best value wines, not just sparkling, out there.

                                                  2. re: foodseek

                                                    I'd second the suggestion of Gruet . . .

                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                        Gruet is terrific for a domestic sparkling wine.

                                                        However, in my experience for the masses, Prosecco is the better crowd pleaser as they typically run sweeter than true champanges and are always good bargains. Plus BevMo and Costco alway carries a nice selection.

                                                        1. re: wanker

                                                          Anyone tried the Gruet Demi-Sec?

                                                          1. re: JAB

                                                            did party with gruet for party of 100. not overly fruity and sweet.....i think it was a great choice for the price and crowd pleaser @ $10 per btl

                                                  3. Thank you for your recent posts! Husband and I purchased the Anderson Valley Roederer Estate Brut for our daughter's wedding. It was a good price (approx.18.00 per bottle case price) and it is from Northern California as are we. Neither one of us drink a lot of sparkling wines so we appreciate your recommendations.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: foodseek

                                                      That was a good purchase. Too often times weddings feature really bad juice that one paid $30 plus from the restaurant or venue. Good job!

                                                      1. re: wineglas1

                                                        We were very happy with the selection of the Roderer Estate Brut. Our guests enjoyed it and the price was doable for a large reception.

                                                    2. Lanson's Champagne great stuff for your guests, a bottle of Krug in your Hotel room killer!

                                                      1. I like the prosecco idea for the guests.

                                                        Veuve Clicquot is over rated! Too yeasty.

                                                        I love Billecart Salmon! What I drank on my wedding day.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: CCSPRINGS

                                                          That's interesting. If anything, I find the VC (Yellow Label, I'm assuming) to be lacking in yeast and overly fruity and floral.

                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                            Sadly, the Yellow Label of 20 years ago is no more, and what VC is selling now in those bottles is not worthy of the name. :(

                                                            Across the US, qpr-wise for real Champagne, the best these days is Nicolas Feuillatte.

                                                            The Gruet is an amazing value and delicious. (And, not too expensive to use for Mimosas or Kir Royales.)

                                                            For the Bride's Table, I'd choose whatever Champagne is YOUR personal favorite.

                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                              This brings up an interesting point which we did even think about with our daughter's wedding. I am curious how many hosts serve guests one type of champagne/sparkling wine and the bridal couple another choice. I understand one can splurge on a special vintage bottle but not be able able to afford the same for all guests. We certainly were not in the position to afford a higher price point. But having said that I think we would still serve the guests and bridal couple the Roederer Brut Anderson Valley NV.. It was a good wine for a fair price.

                                                              1. re: foodseek

                                                                I thought about getting a special bottle for my table when I got married, but am glad I decided against it. The day flies by too quickly to keep track of where "your" bottle is, and too many guests and servers are refilling the bride and groom's glasses at every turn so the risk of mixing the $ with the $$$ is very high. Better to save an expensive bottle for unwinding after the wedding, or the honeynoon.

                                                                1. re: Pei

                                                                  It's really best to keep that special bottle for the bride and groom's "after party!" ;-D