Four Affordable Champagne Alternatives for Your Wedding Celebrations
Looking for bottles to pop on your big day? Wine writer Sarah Moreau recommends four delicious Champagne alternatives that won’t break the bank.
When looking to tighten the wedding budget, couples often look to cut back on wine and liquor costs as the markup can be quite high. One particular line item on the wedding bar tab that tends to break the budget is the Champagne, so seeking affordable champagne alternatives is key if you’re trying to keep costs in check.
Champagne, named for the specific region of France where the beverage is produced, has been associated with life’s biggest celebrations since the Royal Courts of Europe in the 1780s. It’s actually illegal to label anything produced elsewhere with the title! The sparkling wine is a mainstay of weddings, traditionally served during the wedding speeches or toasts given to the happy couple as part of the reception.
Luckily, there are many quality alternatives available today, so Champagne might no longer be the status symbol it once was. Perhaps it is time to leave it behind for more adventurous sparkling wines.
4 Champagne Alternatives for a Budget-Savvy Wedding Toast
Here are four affordable Champagne alternatives to pop from engagement to honeymoon.
Blanquette de Limoux (France)
Limoux in the Languedoc region of Southern France is the true birthplace of sparkling wine. After bottling and corking wine at the Saint-Hilaire Abbey, 1500’s Benedictine monks noticed bubbles forming. The first ever sparkling wine was thus created.
Blanquette de Limoux is a slightly sweeter, lower alcohol sparkling wine. It is often cloudy in appearance due to the second fermentation in the bottle. It uses three grape varietals: Mauzac, a local grape used as a main component, Chardonnay and Chenin.
One way to enjoy Blanquette de Limoux is with fresh seafood such as fresh oysters or the more traditional moules-frites. It also pairs beautifully with spicy dishes such as tacos and flavored fried foods. Strike that perfect high-low vibe with this sparkling wine paired with a food truck reception meal.
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Crémant de Loire (France)
Another French sparkling safe bet comes from the lush hills of the Loire Valley, otherwise known as the “Garden of France.”
The region has a long tradition of exporting excellent sparkling wines from varietals such as Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
Elegant on the palate, Crémant de Loire Bruts are fresh and lively, while Demi-Secs are gentler. They are ideal for a toast or paired with fish and white meat.
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American Pet-Nats (USA)
American sparkling wine production has been on the rise for years. Among the trendiest is Petillant naturel, or Pet-Nat, a light, naturally sparkling wine that’s low in alcohol and a bit rawer and funkier.
Pet-Nat is ideal for couples looking to drink natural and local. Look for the fizzy wines in West Coast states such as California and Oregon. Unfiltered pet-nats are adventurous with each bottle perfectly reflecting the origins of its terroir.
As most sparkling wines, pet-nats go well with food. Pair with lighter summer seafood dishes such as shellfish and fried shrimp for a match made in heaven!
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Frizzante Lambrusco is a lightly fizzy red wine made in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It is a fruit-forward, low-alcohol sparkling wine with flavors of berries and some floral notes.
Lambrusco pairs well with Italian cuisine, including cheese and charcuterie boards as well as pasta dishes. Out of the four alternatives presented here, Lambrusco is the only one that should be served in white wine glasses vs. flutes.
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Consider an affordable champagne alternative for your wedding toasts!
If you’re looking for a savvy alternative to traditional (and pricey) French Champagne, consider one of these pocket-friendly options to get more bang for your buck.