Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

California CHAMPAGNE


beans
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just caught an advert on FTV for Korbel's California Champagne.

What the heck? The hell with tradition and respect for the French? Anyone know when this new label started?

I don't seek out this sparkling wine for purchase or consumption, but I have to admit this bold faced assertion really turned me off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know when the new label started, but I was told when I toured Moet-Chandon California that the U.S. isn't a party to a treaty some (most, I think) wine-producing countries have signed, respecting the - hmm...what's the English term for denominazione controllata? Well, that Champagne comes only from the Champagne region, Asti only from the Asti region, etc. From what I recall, that treaty was signed during Prohibition in the U.S., and when Prohibition was repealed in the U.S., there was apparently no strong push for the U.S. to sign that treaty.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's always been my understanding that if the maker is related to a French company, the product will only be called Sparkling Wine. (A glance at our case of Roederer Estate from CA confirms this.) Ditto if the maker is respectful of tradition (e.g., Macari Brut from Long Island). But remember that for years and years, lots of horrible fizzy stuff from NYS and CA has been called "Champagne." Gah. Sadly, it's nothing new. :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some windbag was in the shop the other night telling me that apparently somehow Spain got away with calling things Champagne too. Korbel does, and will always suck. It sucked in 1985 when it was the heavist acse a small stock girl could manage and it still sucks now that I do not have to stock it.

over it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's always been my understanding that if the maker is related to a French company, the product will only be called Sparkling Wine. (A glance at our case of Roederer Estate from CA confirms this.)

I'll further confirm it, with respect to Moet-Chandon California. It's in the interest of French companies to preserve the specialness of the Champagne denomination controlee'.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some windbag was in the shop the other night telling me that apparently somehow Spain got away with calling things Champagne too. Korbel does, and will always suck. It sucked in 1985 when it was the heavist acse a small stock girl could manage and it still sucks now that I do not have to stock it.

at the very least, cava is made following the methode champenoise. i'm not sure about Korbel, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some windbag was in the shop the other night telling me that apparently somehow Spain got away with calling things Champagne too. Korbel does, and will always suck. It sucked in 1985 when it was the heavist acse a small stock girl could manage and it still sucks now that I do not have to stock it.

at the very least, cava is made following the methode champenoise. i'm not sure about Korbel, though.

Tom tom- I think cava is definitely vat fermented although there maybe some higher-end exceptions.

over it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just caught an advert on FTV for Korbel's California Champagne.

What the heck? The hell with tradition and respect for the French? Anyone know when this new label started?

I don't seek out this sparkling wine for purchase or consumption, but I have to admit this bold faced assertion really turned me off.

Korbel has been calling its wine "Champagne" for around 120 years.

website here

The make good, clean champagne method sparking wine of no particular serious interest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some windbag was in the shop the other night telling me that apparently somehow Spain got away with calling things Champagne too. Korbel does, and will always suck. It sucked in 1985 when it was the heavist acse a small stock girl could manage and it still sucks now that I do not have to stock it.

Spain no longer uses the term "Champagne". None of the European countries can use it anymore. They can't even use the term "champagne method".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some windbag was in the shop the other night telling me that apparently somehow Spain got away with calling things Champagne too. Korbel does, and will always suck. It sucked in 1985 when it was the heavist acse a small stock girl could manage and it still sucks now that I do not have to stock it.

at the very least, cava is made following the methode champenoise. i'm not sure about Korbel, though.

Tom tom- I think cava is definitely vat fermented although there maybe some higher-end exceptions.

Cava must be made only by the traditional Champagne method.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some windbag was in the shop the other night telling me that apparently somehow Spain got away with calling things Champagne too. Korbel does, and will always suck. It sucked in 1985 when it was the heavist acse a small stock girl could manage and it still sucks now that I do not have to stock it.

at the very least, cava is made following the methode champenoise. i'm not sure about Korbel, though.

Both Cava and Korbel are made by the traditional methode champenois.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's always been my understanding that if the maker is related to a French company, the product will only be called Sparkling Wine. (A glance at our case of Roederer Estate from CA confirms this.) Ditto if the maker is respectful of tradition (e.g., Macari Brut from Long Island). But remember that for years and years, lots of horrible fizzy stuff from NYS and CA has been called "Champagne." Gah. Sadly, it's nothing new. :angry:

...not only the French companies.

Iron Horse (my prefered USA brand) has never used the name "Champagne" and Schramsberg removed it from their labels some years ago and now just say "methode champenoise". I don't believe any of the California super-premium sparkling wines other than Korbel use the term "Champagne" anymore.

Korbel feels that it is part of their right and tradition as they have used it on their labels for over a century.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the thing that bothers me (well, only a bit i suppose) is that Korbel, being one of the top sellers in the US, is not doing anything to educate people. can't they come up with a way to include "champagne" if they must (perhaps by stating "traditional methode champenois" if they must), but call themselves sparkling wine? the percentage of people in the US who have no idea what champagne is is exceedingly embarrassing, and Korbel is doing nothing to help that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do like their "Chardonnay Champagne."  But say it was proper to use the term Champagne, would that be a redundancy?

i think champagne (french), is often, if not always, made from three grapes: one of which is chardonnay, another is pinot noir, and the third i can't spell. :smile:

Edited by tommy (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do like their "Chardonnay Champagne."  But say it was proper to use the term Champagne, would that be a redundancy?

i think champagne (french), is often, if not always, made from three grapes: one of which is chardonnay, another is pinot noir, and the third i can't spell. :smile:

Tommy,

Chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. In my opinion, Korbel sucks and has always sucked. I think at one point in their history, it was made from riesling. It sells well because it is CHEAP.

Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my gosh..I'm a Napa Valley girl and hasn't Korbel been around FOREVER??? I mean...I'm like 50 yrs old and Korbel has been around as long as I've been alive...and they've always called it "champagne"...but doncha know, girlfriend, that was in the day when that sort of thing was "allowed". I'm sorry.. is this REALLY news to you??? Oh gosh..maybe I'm just like, too old or sumthing :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. In my opinion, Korbel sucks and has always sucked. I think at one point in their history, it was made from riesling. It sells well because it is CHEAP.

Mark, I totally agree with you...it DOES suck...however...there's a whole lot of people out there that can't afford better or arent' educated about other types of sparkling wines that are comparably priced. Believe me, I'd much rather be drinking Schramsberg (and that's a personal preferance) than Domaine St. Michelle, but you know, some people can't do that all the time *like me*. But there ARE actually people who LIKE Korbel....I only know that by the magic of the internet, and I guess when it really comes down to it...when you are drinking wine...what matters really, is what you like. Not the reviews or how much it costs. Believe me.....it gives me great pain to say this, but as the late great Myron Nightingale would say, "truer words were never spoken"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my gosh..I'm a Napa Valley girl and hasn't Korbel been around FOREVER??? I mean...I'm like 50 yrs old and

Listen kid, I remember when Korbel was considered one of the better brands of American sparkling wine. That was way before the recent generation of Champagne and Cava makers got involved in California and way before I ever heard of Schramsberg. It was common to call any sparkling wine Champagne. I think Korbel dates its standards by continuing to use the term, but evidently their intended market is not one who cares. Then again, there's Wisconsin Swiss cheese, which I find no less offensive a term than California Champagne.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Korbel is small potatoes in the "Champagne" name stealing game and at least they attempt a decent product and use methode champenoise and classic grape varieties to make it.

The Gallo company and others produces a vast ocean of wines called champagne that use plastic corks and are likely made from Thompson Seedless and French Colombard or whatever else happens to by lying around the winery.

Have the annual Andre ads started yet?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...