Don't Serve Brut Champagne With Wedding Cake. Here's Why

Champagne and wedding cake were made for one another — well, sort of. Festive and fancy as the French bubbly may be, not all Champagne is made the same. Given that the sparkling wine can be crafted in a range of styles, it's wise to familiarize yourself with different iterations before selecting which bottles to serve on your special day. Although there's a suitable Champagne for every moment of a wedding, when it comes to the dessert course, bypass the brut.

Choosing the right Champagne is a matter of preference. However, for the most memorable (and pleasant!) pairing, skip dry sparklers that are labeled brut, extra brut, or brut nature. A flute of crisp bubbly may be great for a toasting or sipping aperitif, as its high acidity can be a wonderful palate cleanser, but it won't be able to tackle the sweetness of wedding cake quite as well. No matter its flavors or fillings, wedding cake is just too sugary for something as dry as brut Champagne.

Depending on the amount of sugar added, Champagne can fall on a spectrum of sweetness. Since brut styles contain little to no sugar (between 0 to 12 grams per liter), pairing dry bubbly with frosted and fondant-covered cake can make the Champagne feel jarringly acidic. This extreme contrast of tastes might even make the bubbly seem sour or metallic, which is a far cry from its luscious and refreshing nature. To avoid a less-than-iconic pairing, opt for another style of Champagne.

Demi-sec is a happy compromise

Opposites attract, but within reason. Despite that it will always have some acidity, it's best to seek out wine that's sweeter than the dessert you plan to serve. Matching the level of sweetness will ensure that both the flavors of the wine (in this case bubbly) and the dessert won't be compromised. Naturally, this means that Champagne styles with a higher amount will reign supreme. But, while you might think swapping brut for doux is the way to go, this isn't necessarily the case.

Containing 50 grams of sugar per liter, doux is the sweetest style of Champagne. Yet, it might actually be too saccharine, depending on the flavor of your wedding cake. Instead, demi-sec provides the ideal balance that's not too dry, but not cloyingly sweet either. With slightly less sugar added, demi-sec is a stellar match for sweet desserts with ingredients like vanilla, caramel, almonds, buttercream, berry fillings, or anything else that might be layered into a wedding cake. Plus, its full-bodied and creamy texture perfectly complements decadent wedding cake.

With the degree of sweetness solved, the only thing left to consider is style. Based on the cake's flavors, you might want to match a fruity blanc de noir or even rosé Champagne with vanilla cake layered with berry jam or an almond cake drizzled with chocolate, whereas a citrus-forward blanc de blanc might pair well with a lemon curd cake — but we'll leave the cake and Champagne tasting trials up to you!