The Ultimate Guide to Serving Champagne at Your Wedding

Updated 11/25/15

Maria Vicencio Photography

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.

Losfelt's Top Picks

For the Proposal

Pop a bottle of Möet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut. It's a classic.

For the Wedding

Bring on the Möet & Chandon Brut Imperial, 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. 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.

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