How do you choose the right toasting wine?
Choosing a toasting wine can leave you tied up in knots. There are certain traditions around them. But before you get too hung up on what you should or shouldn’t drink, remember to have fun as you explore your options.
Your choice will come down not just to the traditional element, but the occasion itself and your personal preferences.
Do you toast with wine or champagne?
The big question. Do you choose wine or champagne for your special occasion? Generally speaking, champagne is considered the tipple of choice for toasts. That said, it might not feel right for your event.
If budgets or preference rule champagne out of the equation, there are lots of alternatives. Sparkling wine works just as well and could suit you better for any number of reasons - you may want to give English home-grown fizz a go. You may also want to provide an alcohol-free alternative for friends and family.
Perhaps the most popular sparkling options are champagne, prosecco and cave, but there's a whole world out there to explore. If you find a beautiful sparkling wine that you love and think your guests will too, don’t be put off by the thinking that champagne is the absolute rule.
What is a good champagne for toasting?
First and foremost, if you’re opting for a true Champagne, it should come from France’s Champagne region. Look for the capital “C” on the label to make sure this is what you’re getting, although legally in Europe only Champagne can be called champagne! And if it’s made the traditional way, it may say so on the description, using the phrase "Methode Traditionelle."
There are different varieties of Champagne too. Generally speaking, you’ll need to look for three different qualities to pick the right one for you:
- Sweetness – from brut (dry) to doux (sweet), this will give you an idea of the sweetness.
- Style – ranging from rose to blanc de blanc, this one depends on the primary grapes used.
- Ageing – if the year was considered by the winemaker to be exceptional, they’ll put a vintage on it. On the other hand, non-vintage wines are usually made by wineries that have a consistent standard each year.
What do you drink at a wedding toast?
Perhaps the most important event in anyone’s life is their wedding day. So, no surprises that most work goes into figuring out the best toasting wine for a wedding.
Again, you can play with the rules here if a classic Champagne doesn’t work for you. Other examples of standout toasting wines include anything from English sparklings, our Aldwick Jubilate Quintessentially English Sparkling is just one example, right through to Brazilian roses.
Yes, choosing the right toasting wine for your big day is important. But it doesn’t mean you have to play to a strict set of rules. Just like everything in the wedding-planning-zone, personalising it is the best way to make it extra special.