Pros: reasonably priced, crisp and not too sugary
Cons: not as tasty as Veuve Clicquot, but good at the price. Must be served cold.
I'm writing this review in homage to Bryan's 2000 yr/2000 review write off, and I'm in even straying from the relative comfort of websites and services to do it!
As part of this exercise, we were asked to think back to the year 1999 and the millenial new year celebration... and frankly I didn't even recall what we'd done. But thankfully, Mrs. Insider's long term memory remains intact. She was able to tell me what we did, and even produce a few pictures.
And it all came back... at least some of it.
We planned to take it easy, and went to a friend's house.
There were libations of all kinds, and a ton of people. I usually stick to beer, but the line at the barrel was simply too long (and it was cold out). So I decided to grab a bottle of champagne and hang out by the television.
There were tons of bottles to choose from, but I recognized only a few brands. So grabbed a Korbel bottle and a few glasses.
At the time, I didn't know much about champagne, other than I only drank it at New Years. I assumed that all champagne came from France, but this is not the case. As those of you who have watched Wayne's World a few times can tell me, champagne is a white sparkling wine made in the old province of Champagne, France OR a similar wine made elsewhere. The drink became standardized and other areas began to produce it, but it kept the old area's name.
Korbel, as I came to find out, is from California. But it's an old winemaker - established in 1882! They consistently produce prizewinning champagnes. Korbel actually sponsored Times Square's 2000 celebration, hoping against hope that the year 2000 woes would not strike. Korbel is in fact the number one producer/seller of champagne in America.
About the Taste
Although I'm not a sommelier, here's what I think of this vintage.
Korbel champagne is dry, but it has a smooth finish. There is not a lot of sugary taste, as I've found in other champagnes (and I don't really care for). It's crisp, and not very fruit. Overall, I like it for casual celebratory sipping.
This is a low to mid price champagne, as bottles are in the 10-15 dollar range. For higher priced champagne, I recommend Veuve Clicquot - my favorite across all champagnes, even the best of the best.
The Insider, like Bryan Carey, remains a beer drinker at heart. But Korbel is a solid choice for celebrations that call for the bubbly.