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The History of Champagne at Weddings

by Joy Sterling | Published January 8, 2024

Champagne and weddings go together like horse and carriage or … well, of course, love and marriage. The history of Champagne at weddings goes way back and there are many reasons why.

Firstly, the brilliance, beauty, and mood-lifting essence of Sparkling Wine inherently align with celebrations, making it the ideal choice for a heartfelt wedding toast. By nature, a wedding toast is ceremonial, commemorative, and adheres to a centuries old tradition of wishing joy, blessings, and congratulations to the newlyweds. It serves as a tribute and celebration of the couple, demonstrating support and expressing great wishes for their future. Picture it: “Raise your glasses high, and let us drink to love, life, laughter, and happiness…”

What’s the difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine? 

Champagne embodies both the celebratory nature and the optimism of weddings, symbolizing hope for enduring love and happiness in the couple’s journey ahead. It adds a touch of grandeur and festivity to the moment. The sound of the cork popping, the effervescence of bubbles, and the tradition of pouring into flutes create a sense of thrill and joy. Moreover, the lightness and refreshing taste of Sparkling make it an ideal choice for toasting—it doesn’t overwhelm the palate and can be enjoyed by guests spanning multiple generations, complementing a wide array of foods from hors d’oeuvres to wedding cake.

Our History of Champagne at Weddings

Here at Iron Horse, we make a vintage Blanc de Noirs called Wedding Cuvée, especially crafted for our family weddings. The first vintage was released in 1983, and it quickly gained popularity for its exceptional quality and character. It is the most romantic of our bubblies and the one we are best known for.

The wine is a blend of primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes sourced from the estate’s cool-climate vineyards in the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California. The percentages change depending on the vintage. The current vintage is 2019, aged three plus years en tirage – so vintage caliber in every sense of the word.

Over time, Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée has become synonymous with world-class quality, known for its lively and delicate bubbles, vibrant acidity, complex flavors ranging from citrus to red berries and hints of toasty richness, and an exceptional lift. And innumerable couples have toasted to their happiness with it.

That special lift makes it a favorite not just for weddings and anniversaries but for a myriad of occasions. Recent research shows that Sparkling Wine is enjoyed regularly—beyond formal events, especially among a younger demographic. So Wedding Cuvée is no longer confined to weddings; it’s equally fitting for a girls’ dinner.

According to a German study from Geisenheim University conducted in October 2023, current attitudes and associations with Sparking Wine include:

  1. Special Moments
  2. Sociability
  3. Exuberant Mood
  4. Joy of Life
  5. Relaxation

The key takeaways are very positive.

53% of respondents noted that enjoying Sparkling Wine doesn’t necessarily require a formal occasion. Additionally, 49% felt that Sparkling Wine bridges generational gaps, and 45% regarded it as something special in culinary terms. Respondents also particularly valued the social aspect of toasting, the taste, and the tactile sensation of holding a champagne glass. I especially love that the survey confirms that Sparkling Wine is cross generational.

So, it follows that bubbly is synonymous with weddings and anniversaries as the height of multi-generational affairs, and it is gaining favor as the drink of choice for many other social occasions – always special but to be enjoyed more often.

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