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Dec 17, 2007 07:02 PM

Kir Royale

Having never made a Kir, I would like to know if the following champagne would be a good mix. I found this big bottle on a sale shelf for only 15 bucks. The description is as follows:

Korbel Natural' is a very dry, delicate champagne which exemplifies the fruit forward, Korbel "House Style." Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, primarily from the cool Russian River Valley, gives the Korbel Natural' its unique crisp, fruit centered style. Natural' was originally developed by Adolph Heck in the early 1960s as a dry, sophisticated alternative to the sweet and awkward bulk processed sparkling wines commonly consumed at that time.

Korbel Natural's crispness makes it a great champagne to serve as an aperitif, with lighter fish dishes or grilled prawns. Natural' also pairs well with dishes using fruit, especially citrus.

Thanks for the help. The champage is an 80/20 pinot noir/chardonnay blend.

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  1. Any "cheaper" (must be drinkable by itself) dry sparkling wines will do for Kir Royal; In France, Cassis come from Burgundy, if yu can find a sparkling wine from that region, the fit would be perfect.

    I would go with a 100% chardonnay wine.

    Remember that the Cassis liqueur (Crème de Cassis which does NOT contain cream) is quite sweet and will over-power most distinctive nostes that the champagne (or sparkling wines) have.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Any brand suggestions for cheap drinkable sparkling whites? I've made a bunch of different champagne cocktails for my friends, and they've become quite popular and requested!

      1. re: Admiral Ackbar

        For cheap and slightly sparkling I would seek a nice moscato.

    2. Korbel Natural isn't "natural" any more, in that it now DOES have a dosage. So the label is a bit of a misnomer.

      That said, this wold be perfect for Kir Royale. It's true that -- as maximilien wrote -- a Crémant de Bourgogne might be the "perfect" match, but no one will complain if you use this Korbel.


      1. The Korbel is a 2002. Don't know how that ranks it, but it was cheap at 15 bucks for a 1.5L

        I had to shop very hard to find a non domestic Cassis here in Arkansas. Finally found Mathilde Liqueur which is from France....where in France, I dunno.

        If I understand it correctly, I will mix the two 5-1.

        Thanks for al the help...this is a fantastic website that I just stumbled upon and could not be any happier! What a great place to learn. I really appreciate everyone. I LOVE food and wine and due to the lack of fine shops here, having this resource is a real god-send.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Amelie

          Just a check -- you don't intend to actually pre mix these two, do you?

          You pour a splash of the cassis into the bottom of the champagne flute, then fill with champagne, it should have a layered effect.

          Also just a side note, you can do this with about any liqueur or even fruit juice. I have seen it with strawberries and lemon in the summer.

          1. re: aletnes

            Aletnes, YES! I did intend to pre-mix. THANKS for the clarification.

            I love this board...

        2. Ok, I found this on the Mathilde:

          Mathilde Fruits Liqueurs

          Mathilde liqueurs are traditional, hand-processed French fruit infusions of exceptional quality. The special fruits include the Williams Bon Chrétien pear (Poire), cultivated in the orchards of Anjou near the Loire River in central France; black currant (cassis) from the Saintonge region near Cognac; Magnific Delbard raspberries (Framboise) from the Landes region; Bush Peaches (pêche); and Orange XO, created from the marriage of old-aged Cognac and fine orange essence. The Framboise, Cassis, Pêche and Poire garnered a “Highest Recommendation” (96-100 points) from the Wine Enthusiast in February 2004.

          So it sounds like I amy have gotten lucky and found a decent Cassis.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Amelie

            You did do well, Mathilde makes excellent liquers.

            1. re: Amelie

              imho, the very best Cassis is made by Domaine Lucien Jacob of Echevronne. If you can find that, you will be in heaven!

            2. There is a little bit of a debate about the order in which to make a kir royale. Some say to put the creme de cassis in the bottom, then top with the bubbly. Others say to pour in the bubbly first, then add the creme de cassis. As the cassis is more dense, it slowly sinks to the bottom and you get a bit more cassis as you sip the kir royale. I personally like the second version better. I have never had it with champagne (costs to much for me to mix), I usually use Crémant de Bourgogne.
              As well, you can make a kir, which is cassis with aligote (well chilled). Which is quite delicious, but not quite as festive.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mightycheesehead

                Is it acceptable to pronounce Kir to rhyme with fir? I ordered "Keer" at a nice restaurant and the young waitress echoed "Ker? OK" (it's on their drinks list.)

                  1. re: Teep

                    Kir DOES rhyme with "fear," but one should never be afraid of it . . .