No matter what the world throws us, it can’t stop love. Or weddings. Petite soirees are the rage with family and close friends mostly in outdoor settings. Because groups are smaller, the bride-to-be can focus on quality, not quantity, and picking beautiful bottles. Uncork these suggestions for the rehearsal dinner, bridal shower or luncheon, wedding reception or gifts.
A to Z Wineworks sparkling rosé, Oregon: This pretty pink in a whimsical pop-top, polka dot bottle is a millennial favorite and not just for its good looks. Made from mostly pinot noir, the tiny bubbles dance on your tongue making you want more. (About $16)
Fleurs de Prairie Cotes de Provence, France 2018: Crafted in the traditional Provencal style with a pale salmon color, expect delicate flavors of strawberry, rose petals, and herbs with bright, refreshing acidity. Great for wedding day or any day. (About $20)
LVE Collection Cotes de Provence 2018: By celebrity John Legend in collaboration with vintner Jean-Charles Boisset, this voluptuous rosé sings of strawberries, white nectarine and richness. Only thing missing is the “O” for Love! (About $25)
Limerick Lane Estate Russian River Valley 2019: This boutique winery in Healdsburg, CA, has received significant acclaim for its small batch wine and heritage from 1910. The rosé grapes are grown for this specific varietal instead of being leftover blends of other red grapes. The result is spectacular. (About $28)
Good to know: The intimate winery will host small wedding celebrations at its new estate house in the near future.
SPARKLES LIKE DIAMONDS
If a towering cake is the iconic wedding food, sparkling wine is its liquid equivalent. What could be more festive than a glass of dancing bubbles?
Mumm Napa: An iconic stop on the Silverado trail in Napa, explore myriad sparklers including the upper-end DVX line. Brut Reserve is a classic—crisp, ripe with fruit flavors and a creamy texture. (About $44/magnum $90)
Iron Horse Wedding Cuvee: This pink sparkling wine is fun, fruit-forward yet dry with a long finish. Capped with a thick, pretty mousse, it’s perfect for summer and any wedding menu. (About $45)
Good to know: Iron Horse crafts dozens of different sparkling wines and still wines, so a trip to the tasting room high up on a hill is a must when in Sonoma.
Jo’s Mini Mobile Bar, Houston: Seeking unique? You provide the wine and Jo’s rolls in a stocked beverage bar to your outdoor celebration. The owner transformed a vintage Italian Piaggio Ape 501 mini delivery truck into this Instagram-worthy, chic decorated mobile bar dispensing wines, mimosas, bloody Marys and a really good time.
Wedding Oak Winery, Texas: With three locations in the Texas Hill Country, W.O.W crafts wedding-appropriate bottles like Bridal Bliss, Bridal Blush, Bridal Veil (a dry white great with cheeses and spicy fare), as well as a highly aromatic albariño, petite syrah, Marsanne and Montepulciano. Prices vary.
REAL DEAL SPLURGE
Don’t save Champagne for the cake! Savor these luxurious choices from beginning to end.
Billecart-Salmon Champagne House, France: The darling of sommeliers the world over, here’s an elegant blend of chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir with delicate bubbles providing a persistent foam. Pale salmon in color, anticipate a luscious bouquet of red fruit notes and citrus zests with a strawberry-scented finale. (About $79)
Jordan Winery Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble, France: Jordan in Sonoma County, CA, collaborated with AR Lenoble to create its own Champagne. Brilliant gold with radiant bubbles and a bouquet of apple, pear and brioche, its creamy texture is balanced by lively acidity. ($49)
Good to know: Champagne can only be purchased at the winery, which gives brides-to-be a reason to visit this enchanting European chateau. Elaborate on-site dinners and tasting menus can be booked for pre- or post-wedding celebrations. Cheers to the lovely couple!
Cover: A to Z Wineworks’ sparkling wine is perfect for weddings. Courtesy photo
Robin Barr Sussman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston Modern Luxury Magazine, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.