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As promised over 4 years ago, here is our review of DCL’s Champagne tasting from 2015. Champagne tasting was held in Keys, the lone venue in After Hours Disney tries to keep kid free at all hours.
We were seated with two glasses already poured as Sommelier Ross began to welcome us to the beverage tasting and started with some background information. Given this review is 4 years late and is no longer the same as Champagne tasting in 2019, this overdue review will be limited to covering what was served along with thoughts on the experience. All prices mentioned are typical retail prices found on land, not restaurant/onboard bottle/glass prices.
Our first tasting was not Champagne, it was a sparkling wine, specifically the Santa Margherita Prosecco which is tank made and not aged. A bottle typically runs just over $20 and it works better in cocktails than by itself. Although, I’m always grateful when a bottle is delivered as the Platinum Castaway Club gift. However, this is only happened to us twice on the Magic in Europe.
Right off the bat, I was unsure how this tasting was going to go considering the first tasting of a Champagne beverage seminar wasn’t even a Champagne. However, things quickly improved when Ross opened a nonvintage bottle of Bollinger Brut Special Cuvée. The name will likely sound familiar to 007 fans, as it has long been the Champagne of James Bond. A bottle typically runs about $72. As a big fan of Bond, I’ve always wanted to try Bollinger and this proved to be a great unexpected opportunity.
A pattern is beginning to form… Our next tasting was yet again, not a Champagne, but a sparkling wine from California made in the Champagne method. Chandon Brut Classic is a non-vintage sparkling that can be found for around $15. As far as sparkling wine goes, this is not a bad buy.
Ross returned with another Champagne, and one that quickly gained popularity with a cart on the pool deck. Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial is commonly served with 3 cubes of ice and often includes a citrus garnish to balance out the sweetness. The Ice Imperial regularly appears on our folio from the poolside Moet cart as it is a nice and refreshing option compared to the overly sweet drinks of the day.
For those that like sweet drinks, the next tasting would be right up your alley. Ross presented everyone Rosa Regale, an Italian sparkling red wine which can be found for around $15 a bottle. Emily and I are both familiar with Rosa Regale and when offered in a tasting we passed our glasses off to guests who appeared to enjoy it.
Our final tasting drink of the Champagne experience was one of the specialty cocktails found onboard the Elderbubble. The cocktail is a mix of Absolute Raspberri vodka, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and depending on where you order the cocktail it may be made with a sparkling wine or in some cases Champagne. In our tasting, Ross used the unofficial official Champagne the Disney Cruise Line Blog, Taittinger Brut La Francaise (prices keep going up and is now around $55). The cocktail is enjoyable, but the only exception I make for Taittinger to be used in a cocktail is the Colette in Remy. Luckily, Ross gave Emily her Taittinger sans mix-ins.
This is what a successful tasting looks like.
We did get some solid advice from Ross “Whatever you like, is what you like. If someone else is paying then, it is always good.”
Depending on who is running the beverage tasting, they may or may not pour a sample glass to put on the bar. If they do, it never hurts to ask if you can have the samples. Just saying, because some of these were saved from going down the drain.
Back in 2015, this Champagne Tasting was $35 per person and featured 6 tasting pours. The real deal here was the sample of Bollinger, but other than that the value was not there for what was primarily a sparkling wine tasting.
Overall, the 2015 version of Disney Cruise Line’s Champagne Tasting was a miss for us based on expectation of sampling sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France which was driven by the misleading title.
You waited 4 years for our thoughts on Champagne Tasting, well in a shocking turn of events, we have a review of the latest version of Champagne Tasting coming up soon!