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The Champagne Toast

Planning a wedding might be the most delightful and stressful thing I’ve ever done. After getting engaged last year, I discovered a world of details I’d never fully considered – beyond the fun of dress fittings and cake tastings, there’s minutiae like tablecloths, chair rentals and runners that have suddenly become very important.

Fortunately, I’ve had my mom’s help through a lot of this. But when it came to finding the best way to handle the Champagne toast, I had to go to Dini – our VP of Product, columnist of Ask Dinivino and all-around wine mastermind – to help me with the presentation.

I knew I wanted to have some sort of garnish, and my first idea was fresh lavender – I love the bright smell, and I knew a small sprig would look beautiful with the bubbles. However, worried that I might not readily be able to reliably find the flowers in early spring, I wondered if dried would work as well.

I decided to try out a few decorative options, and at Dini’s suggestion, used a Cava rather than true Champagne for a delicate sparkling wine that’s also a good value for serving the entire guest list.

Dried Lavender

Of course, I immediately loved how this one looked. Dini commented that it was very delicate, though the lavender aroma was still quite pronounced. While she wouldn’t suggest doing this with Champagne, as the aromas could clash, it was very nice with the Cava.


This seemed a natural option to try, but really only looked okay. The strawberry slice made the bubbles much more effusive, and the strawberry aroma is pleasant, but it made the wine more tart.


These edible flowers were gorgeous, but really didn’t smell great – the aromas went sort of garden green. There wasn’t much of a change to the taste.

Grapefruit Twist

This was very strong and very bitter. Not a winner.

Red Currants 

These didn’t change the flavor, but were very festive looking. This was a nice combination – it wasn’t tart, but added a nice citrusy element.

Orange Mandarinquats

This one added by far the strongest smell. But it was pleasant, like a mimosa, and implied sweetness.

Dini and I agreed that the clear winners here were the mandarinquats, lavender and red currant – they all look beautiful and taste good too. So if you’re looking for a way to dress up an inexpensive sparkling wine for your wedding, I hope I’ve offered a little inspiration.

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