Wine club pickups are a lot of fun. There’s the excitement of receiving the very latest wine releases coupled with the rush of buying wine at a substantial discount. Korbel Champagne Cellars makes the most of both emotions. Here’s how our first club pickup in decades went down!
A few months ago, we rejoined the Korbel wine club after two decades away. In the time away, Korbel created quite a menu of possible clubs to join. After some consideration, we chose their “Diamond” club, which entails two releases a year with a case-lot per release. We felt that two trips to the Russian River area a year were well within our capabilities, so this seemed like the ideal club for us.
|Ready for some tasting!|
We talked Rob and Sarah into joining us (admittedly, that was not terribly difficult) so the four of us made our way up to Guerneville. Sadly, there were some traffic accidents along the way, so our arrival was delayed by nearly an hour. The people involved in the traffic accidents were profoundly affected, so we had no room to feel sorry for ourselves. The delay did, however eliminate one winery from our tour list before we had sipped our first wine. We stayed strong and walked along the beautifully manicured path, into the Korbel tasting room.
|Our wine guide Megan|
As usual, the tasting room was jumping! Nearly every inch of the tasting bar was staked out by a taster. Only keen eyesight and quick feet got us a few precious feet of bar for the four of us. Masters of the “refill and pivot” move, we made sure that the tasters around us had equal access to the bar.
We met our wine guide for the day, Megan, who set us up with glasses and started our tasting with some bubbly. We started with their Blanc de Noirs, a favorite with our group. We also loved their Natural Limited Edition and Le Primier, too, which was fortuitous because we had four of each in our club pack, along with four bottles of delicious Rouge. It’s as though they read our minds, or at least our palates!
We tasted our way through Korbel’s entire sparkling list (ignoring their entire still wine menu), looping back as appropriate to make our additional selections. One of the side benefits of the Korbel wine clubs is the extra discount you receive when you pick up your club pack. Let’s just say that we didn’t let that offer go to waste. We told ourselves that stocking up on the delicious bubbly made ecological sense, given the two hour and a half hour drive we had just endured.
Once again we took advantage of the Korbel “direct to trunk” delivery process, where we met their golf cart at our minivan and loaded the cooler in our hatch (yes, we finally planned ahead). We had big plans for the rest of the day, so we set off down the Russian River for our next tasting!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?