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Help! Korbel Sparkling Wine vs. Codorniu Classico Cava

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My wife and I are going on a cruise this week and the only two reasonably priced non-champagne sparking wines on offer are Korbel and Codorniu, with the Codorniu being touted as the more premium of the two.

Without going into the ins and outs of cruising, we need to choose from among two wine packages only one of which (the pricier one) includes the Codorniu,

We are both big fans of bubbly, but Codorniu is not our favourite. Further, we are from Canada and Korbel is not available where we live so we've never tried it. This site refers to Korbel as an ubiquitous supermarket brand, at least in California. Not promising but we're leaning towards it.

So my question is, how to do they compare?

Are we going to try the Korbel and get a headache? Is it dry? Any input is appreciated.

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  1. bluedog: personally I would lean ...particularly after several bottles...toward Spain rather than CA but like you, being from Canada, I do not recollect the last time I had Korbel

    1. Both have more sugar than necessary. Cruise wines suck and are a rip-off.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        I'm with Brad on this one. do your level best not to spend excessive money on a cruise unless said cruise is well known for its wine. That said, Korbel Natural is the only sparkler that is worth drinking from Korbel.

      2. There's a Korbel brut nature (no dosage before bottling) that's quite good - but the others are indeed a bit on the headachy side.

        1. they never or rarely serve korbel natural, which is a shame. Korbel brut rose is pretty good too, but they won't have that either. I'd choose the cava in that case.

          The other option, depending on which line you're sailing, is to buy a case of something you love in a local wine store and bring it on board. Not only will you have what you like, but it will be less expensive as well. You might get charged a corkage fee, but it's still worth it, IMO.

          Holland America lets you do that, or they used to anyway. Celebrity and royal caribbean will let you take a couple of bottles in your carry ons. It's been a while since I cruised (2 years) but I did bring quite a bit on with me on holland america... I think about 7 bottles - one for each night.

          3 Replies
          1. re: OysterHo

            pay the corkage and bring your own.

            1. re: redmeatfan

              IF that's an option . . . some cruise lines do not let you do that.

              1. re: zin1953

                Jason,

                The few we have been on allowed it and it actually wasn't bad. The last cruise was $15 a bottle which is a steal for a cruise.

          2. Reporting back....

            First, Royal Carribbean (RCCL) does not let you take any booze on board whatsoever, so that option was not open to us at all. While we met a number of people smuggling aboard hard liquor in rum runner bags. this is not an option for bubbly.

            Second, we tried the Korbel when we got on, by the glass: my wife's first reaction was "Tastes like beer". She was tasting the yeast, thouh after another sip or two, it just tasted grapey with no complexity whatsoever. Really sub-par garbage, IMHO. And at $29/bottle, a little insulting.

            So we settled on drinking mostly wine and mixed drinks, with a glass of Domaine Chandon here and there, and splurged one night on a bottle of Veuve. What we found odd about the pricing is that the Veuve was $77/bottle, which is not that much more than I can buy it for in Ontario, off the shelf from the liquor store, while the Korbel had a 3.5x mark-up based on seeing it in a drugstore for 8.34 in San Diego prior to boarding. It's wierd how differently booze is priced and taxed in different jurisdictions.

            Thanks all for your input. It was a good cruise and we didn't mind settling.