Introduction of Korbel California Champagne
Is it Really Champagne?
Many people balk at the use of the word champagne to describe any product made outside the Champagne region of France. However, under the United States laws, there is no restriction on using the word to describe certain wines. In the European Union, on the other hand, only wines produced in the Champagne region may contain the word on its label.
Many sparkling wines made outside the region of Champagne, France will call themselves a champagne. These wines tend to follow all the other specificities of true Champagne aside from its growing and bottling region.
True Champagne is also restricted to certain grape varietals. Most commonly found are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Sparkling wines can contain other varieties that grow outside the region of Champagne, France.
Champagne in its true form must also undergo bottle fermentation. Some sparkling wines are carbonated in large tanks before bottling, which is less labor-intensive.
A Different California Gold
Korbel Champagne traces is history all the way back to the 1880s in California, as the Korbel brothers teamed with Frank Hasek to create the champagne. There was much doubt cast by other California winemakers that champagne was even possible to create in the region but Korbel quickly became a respected name in the industry.
The Presidential Seal of Approval
Korbel Champagne has been served at seven inaugural celebrations for five different United States presidents. The winemaker presents a special blend called “Inaugural Cuvée” and adorns the bottle with the Presidential Seal. It is possible for the general public to purchase this offering from Korbel. Look for the Korbel Natural label.
Korbel California Champagne Prices
Compared to the Others, Korbel Dominates
Korbel simply dominates the sparkling wine and champagne market, outpacing the nearest US-made competitor in annual sales by 50%. Korbel comes in third place worldwide amongst champagne brands, trailing only Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon.
If you simply must try something other than Korbel but want to stay in the same sub-$15 price range, there are some options out there. Let’s look at some popular brands popping up that might compare to Korbel in quality and price:
- J.Roget Champagne: Also made in California, this brand sells at a very low price point (around $5 a bottle).
- Cupcake: An Italian winemaker that makes a prosecco that sells around $9. Prosecco is made from a group of grapes called Glera grapes.
- Yellow Tail: Known for its highly recognizable bottle due to a popular kangaroo, Yellow Tail offers white and rose sparkling options. Often available for around $7.
- Menage a Trois: With a price point most similar to Korbel at around $10 a bottle, Menage a Trois has become a popular prosecco choice.
- Barefoot Bubbly: If you enjoy sweeter options, Barefoot provides them. Multiple fruit flavors are available for around $7 a bottle.
Champagne in Levels
Brands like Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot offer price points in the $50 range and have become quite popular as a semi-expensive option for those looking to drink the “good stuff”. For the real spenders and name droppers out there, Dom Perignon tends to be over $150 depending on the bottle. There are more options in the champagne and sparkling wine world, however, with a variety of prices.
Have a look at the list of lesser known brands below and impress your friends with your champagne expertise and without breaking the bank.
- Pol Roger: Commonly found around $40 for its Brut Reserve blend, Pol Roger can claim Winston Churchill amongst its fanbase.
- Taittinger: A true French Champagne, these bottles are typically found in the $35 – $45 range. This wine maker is the third-oldest Champagne producer in existence.
- Louis Roederer: More well known for its very expensive prestige cuvee Cristal, the more economical Brut Premier can be had for around $40.
For those looking to spend more than $10 but less than the brands above, there are some options on the table.
- Gruet: Hailing from the very non-traditional wine making region of New Mexico, the Gruet Winery makes affordable options (think $12 or so).
- Coppola: A surging name in the California wine world produces a $12 bottle of sparkling wine called Sofia. Sofia also comes in the unique presentation of cans, if you are thinking of drinking champagne at your next tailgate party.
- Roederer Estate: Kin to the earlier mentioned Louis Roederer family, this line is made in California and is the less expensive arm of the brand. The non-vintage Brut can be yours for around $20.
Why the Price Difference?
Champagne is clearly one of the more volatile priced wine groups. So why are proseccos, sparkling wines, and true Champagnes so different in pricing?
Primarily, the price for true Champagne is higher because of its exclusivity. Champagne is made in a specific region using a particular set of grape varietals.
Secondly, the process is a bit more intensive for Champagne makers. Carbonation is required during the bottling process to produce the sparkling effect. This step is labor-intensive and a bit more expensive.
Korbel Advances Champagne
Once upon a time Champagne was such an exclusive wine, it was reserved for only the rarest of special occasions. As time went on, less expensive offerings that were still palatable entered the market and made champagne (sparkling wine) more popular.
Korbel has brought sparkling wines to the forefront of the wine world, as they can now be seen regularly at brunch tables and even mixed in cocktails. With an increase is similarly priced alternatives, “Champagne Brunch” is a far more popular event with plenty of sparkling wine choices.
Common Korbel California Champagne Prices List
|Name||Average Price||Food Suggestion|
|Korbel California Champagne Chardonnay||$13||White Fish|
|Korbel California Champagne Rouge||$15||White Fish|
|Korbel California Champagne Brut||$12||White Fish|
|Korbel California Champagne Extra Dry||$12||Root Vegetables and Squashes|
|Korbel California Champagne Blanc de Noirs||$13||Meaty and Oily Fish|
|Korbel California Champagne Brut Rose||$13||Meaty and Oily Fish|