When asked on what occasions she drank champagne, the late Madame Bollinger famously replied, “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty.”
I used this quote on the menu for my 18th birthday cocktail party. Good times.
I do like a glass of champagne. Correction. I do like a glass of something sparkly. I don’t really care if it’s champagne. Or prosecco. Or cava. Or sparkling wine. If it’s a drink made from grapes that has bubbles in it then I’m a happy girl.
Our venue will provide wine for our meal, and other drinks can be bought from the cash bar, but we will have to supply the sparkly. With an £8 corkage fee per bottle, we couldn’t get champagne—it would just have been too expensive. So instead we decided to stick to the cheaper stuff!
At Jack’s annual family get together, I have seen them drink all sorts. This year, I don’t even think the beers were in the fridge—this gives me great reassurance that no one will be complaining that their arrival and toast drinks don’t come from the northeast region of France. And I know my friends and family well enough to know that they’ll just be happy with a free drink to compliment their canapés!
With this decided, we went to a local wine merchant to look at their stock. We get all our wine for work from this place, so I have a good relationship with them. Jack and I have been to wine tastings there, and some of their stuff is goooooooood! I like mostly all wine, but some of theirs did go down much nicer than what I usually drink…
They recommended a couple of proseccos and a sparkling rose. We decided not to sample the rose at that point, but bought a bottle each of the other two to take home and try ourselves.
A few weeks later my mum was in her local Tesco supermarket when she saw a deal had been put on—buy six bottles and get 25% off. And wouldn’t you know it? The sparkling rose that had been recommended to us was not only a part of this deal, but it was also on 50% off. Combine both those discounts with the 10% staff discount that my brother holds, et voila…£3.60 a bottle.
Of course this was all very well, but we had to taste it first to make sure it was acceptable to serve. My mum also found a standard sparkly in the same deal, also with 50% off, so she called me, gave me the names of the wines, and instructed me to head to the nearest Tesco to buy a bottle each and try them over the weekend—and try them we did!
This was put up on Jack’s Instagram. It made me giggle.
Testing sparkly for the wedding #hardlife
The first bottle was a success. Lovely, lovely drink. It went down very well that evening. The next night we invited a couple of friends over and sampled our other bottle… and it, too, was lovely. One friend rarely drank sparkling wine, but she finished off two whole glasses. I am going to take that to mean it was good.
So with that, I called my mum and she headed down to Tesco to buy 18 bottles each of Codorniu Vintage Rose Cava and Freixenet Brut Extra NV Cava. Putting our entire sparkling wine cost to less than £450!
We have decided to serve the rose with the canapés as our arrival drink, and the normal cava with our toast. Those two drinks, along with two glasses of wine during the meal, will give our guests almost an entire bottle of wine each! Which I think is pretty good, really! I can drink a fair bit of wine, and even I’m pleasantly drunk after that much!
I never thought I’d end up buying my wedding plonk from the supermarket, but hey—a deal’s a deal!
Did anyone else go down the no-champagne route? Did anyone make a big deal about it??