The Ultimate Guide to Serving Champagne at Your Wedding

Food & Drink, Planning Tips

From your engagement toast to your reception, you can bet that there will be a lot of bubbly flowing during your wedding celebrations. Elise Losfelt, the youngest Möet & Chandon winemaker, breaks down the basics on champagne, simple pairings, and what to sip when.

Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine
No, you can't call California bubbly "champagne." That designation belongs only to sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France. Most are created with a blend of three types of grapes — pinot noir (red), pinot meunier (red), and chardonnay (white). For rosé champagne, a greater percentage of pinot-noir and pinot-meunier grapes are used.

Nonvintage vs. vintage
Vintage champagnes use grapes collected from one exceptional year of harvest and are aged in cellars longer— making them pricier— while nonvintage blends include a mix of grapes from different years.

Food Pairings
Want to elevate any occasion? Serve champagne with dinner. The trick, says Losfelt, is to choose one that complements the aromas of your dish.

- Seafood
Most brut and extra-brut champagnes have hints of pear, peach, and apple— a fruity, tangy mixture that is a good match for seafood, particularly scallops, oysters, white fish, or sushi.

- Fruits, Vegetables, and Spicy Foods
The aromas of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry in a brut rosé blend well with fruits, veggies, and spicy dishes like curry. That kind of versatility is a no-brainer for cocktail hour.

- Chicken
Poultry usually takes on the flavor of the spices it's cooked with, so you need
a champagne that's versatile. Your best bet? One from the brut category will play well off of the savoriness of most chicken dishes.

- Red Meat
To echo the intensity of lamb or beef, especially filet mignon, serve an extra-brut or brut rosé.

- Desserts
Myth: Desserts go best with dry bubbly.
Fact: Dry champagne clashes with desserts. Play up your wedding cake with a sweeter-style champagne, like demi sec or doux.

See More: Creative Bar Sign Ideas for Your Wedding Reception

Losfelt's Top Picks
For the Proposal
Pop a bottle of Möet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut ($65, Möet & Chandon). It's a classic.

For the Wedding
Bring on the Möet & Chandon Brut Imperial ($41, Möet & Chandon), which pairs well with a variety of dishes. It's also the least expensive in the collection.

For the Wedding Night
In the honeymoon suite, break out the Möet Grand Vintage Rosé ($90, Möet & Chandon). Not too sweet or too dry, it's perfect for your after-after party, and with its premium price tag, you may not want to share with anyone but your new spouse.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES December 2015/January 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!

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