What Is a Champagne Brunch?

Amy Hunter
Amy Hunter
Sparkling wine.
Sparkling wine.

A champagne brunch is different than a typical brunch in that alcohol is served. Serving champagne creates a more festive atmosphere, making a champagne brunch ideal around the holidays. In addition to champagne, the host may provide orange juice and peach nectar so guests can enjoy mimosas and bellinis. In some cases, the term champagne brunch is used to denote that other alcoholic beverages, such as Bloody Marys, will be served. Even when other options are available, champagne is the typical centerpiece of the brunch.

Crab cakes are often served at a champagne brunch.
Crab cakes are often served at a champagne brunch.

Aside from the alcohol, a champagne brunch is similar to a traditional brunch. It is served mid-morning or late morning, often on a Sunday. The meal is typically served buffet style. The main course consists of a variety of breakfast and lunch foods, like croissants, berries, crab cakes, and frittatas. Dessert is served with coffee, and may include fruit salad and pastries.

Croissants are usually part of a champagne brunch.
Croissants are usually part of a champagne brunch.

The winter holiday season and bridal showers are among the most popular occasions for champagne brunches. Much of the food served at a brunch can be prepared ahead of time, making them a good choice for entertaining. This allows the host to relax and enjoy the celebration. The addition of champagne makes the mood more formal and festive.

To plan a successful champagne brunch, start several weeks ahead of time by writing out a guest list and mailing invitations. Request that guests RSVP or send regrets so that there is an estimate on how much food and drinks to have on-hand. Make as much of the food as possible ahead of time and place it in the freezer. Make final preparations the night before and the morning of the brunch.

Each bottle of champagne will provide approximately six servings.
Each bottle of champagne will provide approximately six servings.

Expense is a concern when planning a champagne brunch. Plan on each person having two to three glasses of champagne. Each bottle will provide about six servings. When purchasing the champagne, ask the wine store owner if they accept returns of unopened bottles, which is a common practice for many wine store owners.

One way to make champagne brunches more wallet friendly is by talking to the local wine shop about purchasing the champagne at a special case price rather than by the bottle. Another way to save money is by purchasing domestic, rather than imported, champagne. There are many non-vintage domestic choices that provide great taste, and because the champagne is paired with food, it is unlikely that guests would miss the flavors of a pricey vintage import; again, though, this might depend on the formality of the event.

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    • Sparkling wine.
      Sparkling wine.
    • Crab cakes are often served at a champagne brunch.
      Crab cakes are often served at a champagne brunch.
    • Croissants are usually part of a champagne brunch.
      Croissants are usually part of a champagne brunch.
    • Each bottle of champagne will provide approximately six servings.
      Each bottle of champagne will provide approximately six servings.
    • Fruit salad is often served for dessert at a champagne brunch.
      Fruit salad is often served for dessert at a champagne brunch.