• At the point in the wedding when the best man stands up and eloquently recants tales of past girl friends that didn’t work as his speech starts to slur and the groom starts to put an end to it. The toast is called for. The toast to end all toasts. If you were in charge of getting the bubbles, and are only now remembering then oops. However if you read this and still have time to shop I think we can work something out.

    I have been to so many weddings its kind of ridiculous. I went to a wedding a couple of months ago and thought wow someone picked out ecclectic inexpensive good wine. Three glasses deep as I pondered what wedding planner would have picked a Torrontes/Chardonnay blend it dawned on me…

    I had picked the wine. I felt rather silly, but to my credit I had picked the wine two months before the wedding.

    Yesterday I was asked ‘I have to buy Champagne for my brother’s engagement party this weekend. I don’t want to spend a lot of money because I have to buy ten bottles. Do you have any suggestions as to what would be yummy yet affordable? Do you think Prosecco is a good choice?’

    I responded with a few choices:

    Segura Viudas Reserva Cava (Spanish sparkling) for $6.99 at BevMo which according to them is..

    #19, TOP 100 BEST BUYS 2011, 87 PTS WINE ENTHUSIAST. The Segura Viudas is simple, nice and not trying too hard; graced with nice apple and citrus aromas; crisp apple, green herb and melon flavors.

    For $2 more they have a higher end Segura Viudas Aria Estate Brut which is a bit more elegant..

    88 PTS WINE & SPIRITS. The Segura Viudas Aria has a sweet, baked apple flavor, pale yeastiness that lends a subtle balance, finishing with a clean, fresh feel; a fine, gentle sparkler for toasts.

    Both of these choices are Cava as opposed to Prosecco, so I included a Prosecco choice, but the cost is considerably higher..

    Zonin Prosecco which will be a fuller more approachable sparkling with a touch of sweetness that is promptly balanced out by the bubbles and the acidity goes for $11.99 at BevMo, but I saw it for $10.99 at Berkeley Bowl.

    BevMo describes it as this… Straight-forward and clean, the brisk non-vintage Zonin Prosecco is a deliciously fine bubbly at a great price; nice, core fruit flavors prevail and last on the roundish palate.

    In response I was asked ‘Would Spanish sparkling be good for a toast or do I have to do something more traditional?’

    If you need to be thrifty in your purchase than Spanish is great. If you can afford to pay $30 a bottle for Champagne (which only comes from Champagne, France by the way) then spring for something like..

    Nicolas Feuillatte Brut which got 92 Points in Wine Spectator and has very classic toasted brioche aromas along with lemon and honey on the palate. Its full yet soft with a nice crisp acidity and lengthy finish.

    However if you want to save the $270 dollars and maybe even buy a present with the difference or make it rain on the bride and groom (an expression that I was told is getting a stack of ones and then whipping them out of your hand quickly one at a time to make a rain of money fall down over them.) Then go for cheap yet decent.

    My theory is this. If you want to sit and enjoy a bottle slowly sipping it over time then get Champagne. If you’re getting a large quantity of people drunk so they can wake up in a bathtub and talk about how crazy the wedding was then go cheap.

    Now that I’ve totally convinced you to go with a cheap cava. I’m going to throw one more your way..

    Allimant Laugner Rose

    BevMo has it for $23.99 and calls it a fine and dandy rose. It’s bright and crisp with zestiness; nice carbonation make this sparkler the perfect brunch wine.

    I like to think of it as affordable heaven in a glass. It’s a gentle rose color with a touch of yeast on the nose. Just the right amount of bubbles and its from Alsace, France which is slightly more than a stone’s throw from Champagne.

    So in conclusion.. Cava works, Alsace Cremant Rose is better and if you wanna go for broke do the Champagne