Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A little secret

I hate champagne.  I mean, seriously.  I hate it.  It's dry and too bubbly.  There's just something about it that I can't stand.
But, but, you say, it's just not a wedding if you don't toast with champagne!  Whatever will you do?

Meet Barefoot Vineyards Moscato.  The magnums of this are something like $15.  (There is also a Moscato they sell at Costco for pretty cheap that we will get if I feel up to driving to Virginia.)  It's bubbly and tastes like juice, which is how I like my wine.  We'll serve other wines, and people can toast with whatever they have.  This wouldn't be presented tableside, it would just be at the bar with everything else.  

But this post is not about wine.  It is about champagne alternatives - and we have several people coming to the wedding that do not consume alcohol at all.**  Plus children.  So what do they toast with?  The options are:
  • soda or water (basically, whatever they would be drinking) - but it's bad luck to toast with water and this makes me nervous
  • sparkling cider
  • ginger ale 
Ginger ale is my go-to at weddings where I feel like I have to look like I'm toasting with champagne (I'm sitting at the head table or dating the best man.)  But sparkling cider seems fancier, especially for kids.  I'm thinking to direct whoever is offering tableside wine to offer sparkling cider to our dry table and to the kids table.  

Do you have a dry table?  Are you worrying about this?  Is it weird that I'm thinking about it when I really don't care what everyone else is drinking?  

[Edited to say: You don't have to serve champagne.  Nobody has to serve champagne.  Please don't think I'm saying you have to serve champagne.  ALosAngelesLove is right when she says it goes fairly wasted at weddings.  I decided that I wanted something bubbly because, oh hell, it makes me feel fancy.  It's also not more expensive than any other wine we would serve, and Moscato is much more drinkable than champagne.  Plus, we brought a few bottles to a family thing and one person, who really hates sweet wine, said he liked how the bubbles cut the sweetness a little bit.  So this way I* can serve it and reisling juicewine that I like, and it's all good.]

*Uh, we, I guess.  Mark is in charge of beer, and I called dibs on the juicewine.  I'm not sure who will be in charge of regular wine.  
**These are people in the wedding party or my parents and close family.


  1. hmm...so we aren't having any champagne and after I read this I was all, "OH NOES! We have to get champagne and serve it and make sure everyone has the option of a bubbly alternative!"

    but I don't think so. We won't have any champagne and no sparkly alternative. But definitely toasts.

    I will say that sparkling cider is awesome, though. And I'd take it over champagne any day!

  2. I put my foot down about champagne since it generally goes wasted at weddings. Most people only take a sip or two and put the glass down. I am NOT paying for all those bottles of champagne and extra rental glasses if people don't even LIKE the stuff and don't really drink it. (I've had several planners tell me people only reliably drink the "good stuff" champagne, and our budget only accounts for the "cheapo stuff")

    A toast is a toast. They can toast us with white wine, red wine, beer, or sangria. And, for my mother who CRIED when I said we weren't bothering with champagne, she can toast us with one of the ten bottles of Prosecco we're buying for her and her "it has to be sparkly" friends. (It wasn't worth the fight, so we caved and will buy her favorite Prosecco, but we're not announcing it as a champagne toast option. It will just be there, at the wine table, for any one who wants it.)

    And for the non-drinkers, I've always loved Martinelli's sparkling apple cider. And I also love sparkling water with some fruit juice and berries or mint as well (though I'm of the "how the hell can a toast be bad luck??!!" mindset and I've never heard of this silliness before your post. Perhaps the splash of fruit juice will counter superstition?)

  3. Jen, don't feel like you have to serve champagne! Or anything else! My sister certainly didn't. I would be serving Moscato no matter what though, because I love it, but if I serve it as a "champagne alternative" then I can also serve a super-sweet reisling juice wine. :-D

  4. Never thought twice about not having a champagne toast. Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff, whether it be champagne, prosecco, cava, brut . . . yum yum yum. The only bubbly at our wedding, however, will be for myself (and one of my brideswomen who gets ill when drinking anything else relating to alcohol). We figure people can toast with whatever they're drinking, whether it's wine, beer, or soda (and I guess I'm not superstitious, so if they're toasting with water, so be it!). Happy days.

  5. I grew up with Martinelli's for all the champagne occasions (like NYE or congratulatory toasts), and I would be delighted if I were served it at a wedding.

  6. Holy moly! We love this stuff! Our little corner store carries it and it's so-so-tasty.

    We won't have champagne or an alternative. Guests will just have to toast with whatever is in arms length- juice, soda, a beer, wine, a pork rib, bug spray...

  7. From my memories of a misspent youth, don't knock "champagne" till you have the real stuff, in the right glass at the right temperature in the right situation. Everything else is carbonated cheap white "whine" and far more suitable for breaking on the bow of a new ship or pouring on teammates after winning a trophy.

    According to Wiki toasting "is probably a secular vestige of ancient sacrificial libations in which a sacred liquid was offered to the gods: blood or wine in exchange for a wish, a prayer summarized in the words ‘long life!’ or ‘to your health!’

  8. we're not doing champagne, either. if there's a toast (still deciding) people can toast with whatever they're drinking. even water! ha!

  9. If Mr. Beagle and I are at a wedding, we make sure the champagne does not go wasted. Seriously. We love our champagne. There may be photos of Mr. Beagle double fisting at his sister's wedding.

    But I agree that it is not necessary. Also, Moscato is very tasty. I haven't had any in awhile. Maybe a trip to the wine store is in order.

    I lean toward sparkling cider because it is also sooooo tasty. And little kids love it. So do big kids (ie. adults).

  10. The Boy's close family is VERY anti-alcohol, so in an effort to cut out at least one headache we did away with any and all alcohol completely. Considering it's a morning wedding with a lunch reception, I don't think anyone will miss it. Other than my sister ... and she can bring her flask.

    We're doing a cider toast ... but only because the caterer offered it for free.

  11. I love the champers but a toast is a toast no matter what! Good on you!

  12. It's bad luck to toast with water? I don't much like champagne either. I mixed it with orange juice at our wedding for the toasts! What ever works.

  13. We made our own mead, which we are planning to toast with instead. In fact, we started the first batch of mead well before we will "announce" our engagement to everyone, though everyone knows we're getting married someday. We made it last year and will probably announce our engagement in the next year or two. Hey, mead is better well aged.