Planning a Champagne Toast
Most weddings have a Champagne toast as a featured part of the reception. Even the smallest of weddings have this celebration of the new couple. Many other types of parties - retirement parties, going-away parties, anniversaries and more, have a Champagne toast to help well wish the lucky person or couple.
The first question people tend to ask is, how much Champagne should I get! Five ounces is the standard amount that fills a Champagne flute. Remember to get the tall, skinny flute and not the fat, wide Chamagne "goblets" that were seen sometimes in movies in the 1950s. Goblets were good for film use because they made tons of bubbles, but they make the Champagne go flat INSTANTLY. You don't want people drinking bad Champagne and spitting it out in disgust! That does not look good on photos of the event :)
So if you figure 5 ounces per person for the "toast drink", a bottle of Champagne holds 750ml. 750ml is just over 25 ounces. So that is just about exact five glasses of Champagne in a given bottle. Remember, that is just enough for the toast itself. If you want people to be able to ask for a second glass, make sure you plan appropriately and get a few more bottles than that. Also, you have to assume some people will spill their glasses by accident and need more before the toast happens. You don't want to have to tell them "sorry you had your chance, now you can't toast".
Next, what should you get? If you're extremely traditional you will want to go for actual Champagne from France. Only bubbly wine from the region of France called "Champagne" can technically be called Champagne. Everything else from other regions of France and the world are called "bubbly wine".
If you are catering to a younger crowd - maybe a wedding with mostly 22 and 23 year olds - keep in mind that younger drinkers often have a very sweet tooth. They were raised on HiC and soda and appreciate sweeter flavors in wine. You might want to go with an Italian Prosecco or Asti Spumanti for this crowd. These Italian bubblies tend to be much more sweet than a traditional Champagne.
Another very popular Champagne alternative is Cava, from Spain. If your group has Spanish heritage in their ancestry, look into this delicious bubbly!
Whatever you go for, I would highly suggest NOT grabbing the cheapest bubbly you can get on the grounds that it doesn't matter much anyway. A toast is one of the most photographed part of any event. If everyone is making faces because the drink is atrocious, that does not lend itself well to a happy toast experience or photo set. Champagne flavors can vary wildly, just as different wines have different flavors. You wouldn't serve vinegar to your guests and expect them to have big smiles when you snapped their photo mid-sip. In the same way, do a few taste tests and determine which Champagne or bubbly has the right match of flavor and price for your budget. You'll be able to find some bubbly drinks which fall in your price range and still have a good flavor.
Finally, a fun idea is to mix up simple Chamapagne Cocktails for everyone. I have almost 100 champagne Cocktails on this site, organized by color. If this is a "green" themed event for example, you can give everyone a green Champagne cocktail to toast with!
If you're looking for current wine recommendations, visit our Wine Forums for advice!
Toasts Around the World
The Hear Hear Toast
Champagne Cocktail Recipes
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Champagne Cocktail Recipes Ebook
Our Sangria Recipes include a section on sparkling sangria recipes. These are Champagne Cocktails as well!