the Wedding issue

For Richer or Pourer words DavidW. Brown

From champagne to cava and brunch to bachelorette parties, there’s a sparkling wine for every moment of your wedding celebration. S parkling wine is the unsung hero of wedding festivities, as essential to the event as the best man, bridesmaids and buttercream frosting. Though the caterers will likely be in charge of wine and spirits at the reception, the events surrounding the wedding are begging for good bubbly too. With wine, a little care can elevate an occasion to an experience, a gathering to a celebration. Here are a few places where wine well employed can make a wedding weekend as memorable for the guests as it is for the newlyweds. PRE-WEDDING, UNCORKED

news is that you can often bring your own wine; the bad news is that, depending on the restaurant or venue, they might charge a corkage fee, which is a surcharge for them to open each bottle of wine. (It might be considerable; check in advance.) If you’re going to bring your own sparkling wine, plan for each bottle to fill five glasses, and for each person to have two servings. Multiply times the number of people attending the dinner, and you know how many bottles to buy. At some point that evening, you’ll be easing into the first of several toasts to the bride and groom (still to come is the wedding itself, and maybe a brunch the next day). Although there’s been lots of

A champagne flute imbues elegance. Always. This rule is inviolate. You pick one up and you know you’re there for something special. Make it the opening act of your wedding weekend. If you have family and friends visiting from out of town, you’ve probably reserved hotel blocks to ensure a roof for every head, ease travel accommodations, and encourage socializing before and after the ceremony. Here is where you can make your first big impression and establish the tone of the event.. Consider having a bottle of wine waiting in each guest’s room. The sky’s the limit as far as what you might choose, but sparkling rosé is a safe bet, with bonus points for it being an inviting “anytime” wine. You might uncork that traditional blend tonight, but who wouldn’t want the rosé right now? Sparkling rosé is often thought of as a summer wine — it certainly pairs well with a sunny day — but it can be just as invigorating when the leaves turn colors. It is an excellent addition to lunch, or to enjoy alone at daytime meet-ups.

toasting and celebrating at engagement soirées, bachelorette and bachelor parties, and bridal brunches, the toasting at the rehearsal dinner can reach a fever pitch surpassed only by the wedding day toasts themselves. Something special is in order. A Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs will hit all of the right notes. Most sparkling wines are made from a blend of three grapes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay — the first two red, the last white. Blanc de Blancs, however, is made only from white grapes. Schramsberg’s version, born in Napa Valley, is 100% Chardonnay, and the first Chardonnay-based brut sparkler ever produced commercially in the United States.The wine is well-structured, crisp and lively — it offers initial citrus notes before a slow, foamy wash rolls across the palate. It is also a versatile drink for the occasion, working with or without food pairing.

Korbel Sweet Rosé is an approachable California sparkler that’s cotton-candy pink in color and packs a light, easy fruitiness. Korbel has been making California sparkling wine longer than any other winery there and, year after year, its bottles have a consistent flavor profile with a lingering, sweet finish. Another California wine, Mumm Napa Brut Rosé, is crisp and refreshing, and will hit you with strawberry and blackberry notes and a soft, dry finish. Mumm Napa is owned by the famed G.H. Mumm in Reims, France, and uses the same méthode champenoise as its counterpart in the Champagne region. Later that evening, depending on where the rehearsal dinner is held, there might not be a wine list commensurate with either the solemnity of the occasion or your love of the sparkly stuff.The good




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