What Four Wines to Bring Aboard?

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#1
Alief TX
1,442 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
  • Taking a 7-day cruise on Princess next Spring
  • Four adults means four bottles legitimately allowed
  • First dinner is at Crown Grill so one will be enjoyed there
I don't know much about nicer wines, or wine/food pairings but I do know there are some impressively wine-savvy cruise-goers here. We have a great store here, Spec's, which seems to be able to get pretty much anything.

Open to all suggestions, especially things that the sommelier will appreciate. I know they like to have some when a passenger brings something good.
If you can give reasons, that will help the most.

Just want to bring out the best in our meals, and make it worth the corking fee.

Rick (knows about coffee and computers)
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#2
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,440 Posts
Joined May 2001
Considering that 1 bottle of wine will only yield about 4 glasses, it may be cheaper just to buy it onboard...when you add the $15 corkage fee to each bottle you've already paid for!

Do NOT worry about what the staff thinks of your wine selection....they truly don't care one whit what wine you like! And under NO circumstances should the "sommelier" drink any of your wine!!!!!
#3
Alief TX
1,442 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
CB's good advice notwithstanding, does anyone have any recommendations?

Even if I purchase the ship wine, we have to select something. There are a lot of posts about bringing something a bit better than what's on their list, but not specifics.

C'mon CC oenophiles, let's hear from you!

Rick
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#4
Chicago by way of Boston and NOLA
16,929 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by cb at sea
Considering that 1 bottle of wine will only yield about 4 glasses, it may be cheaper just to buy it onboard...when you add the $15 corkage fee to each bottle you've already paid for!

Do NOT worry about what the staff thinks of your wine selection....they truly don't care one whit what wine you like! And under NO circumstances should the "sommelier" drink any of your wine!!!!!
Totally disagree; the corking fee is less than the typical mark up the cruise line charges on wines - so the value is there. The OP is not speaking about bringing a junky $6 bottle of wine, but is seeking advice on something nice. Depending on the size of the pour, a 750ml bottle generally yields closer to five glasses. In addition to saving some money, the main reason to BYO is the cruise line's selection is somewhat limited, so BYO affords one the option of bringing in a special bottle or a bottle they like that the cruise line does not carry. It is actually not at all uncommon to share a taste of your wine with the sommelier (and in many restaurants a sommelier actually routinely takes the first sip of a bottle to ensure it is not corked; they even wear a device around their neck used for sampling wine). It is actually considered good etiquette to offer a sommelier a taste of your wine when you BYO (though this is not required). While a sommelier could care less what type of wine you are consuming if it is a $6 bottle, many are interested when guests bring high end or interesting wines and most greatly appreciate being offered a taste.

As for advice to the OP; I am far more knowledgeable about food then wine, but recently have been becoming more educated about wines and can provide you with my favorites that are likely to be available at a major wine store (I am far more into reds than whites, so will mention those):

Any of the Belle Glos family of wines; the less expensive wines under the same family (Meiomi) are also quite good for the money. Meiomi runs about $20, Belle Glos around $40 to $60. The same family also has higher end wines under the Caymus brand that are outstanding, but quite pricey.

Crossbarn - Pinot Noir (California). Forget what vintage I had. About $40.

Two Hands - Angels Share - Shiraz (Australia). About $35; I believe it is the 2010 vintage I have had.

Durugutti - Malbec (Argentina). I have tried some different vintages and find the 2009 to be the best. This is the cheapest of the wines I referenced (about $15) but excellent.
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#5
Alief TX
1,442 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Great info to start looking at. I see my local shop has most of these, and what they do have are very competitively priced. Cheap, even.
We even have time to taste and find out what my wife and I like. Thanks again!

Rick
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#6
Chicago by way of Boston and NOLA
16,929 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by sminfiddle
Great info to start looking at. I see my local shop has most of these, and what they do have are very competitively priced. Cheap, even.
We even have time to taste and find out what my wife and I like. Thanks again!

Rick
You're welcome, hope you enjoy some of the wines.
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Upcoming Cruises:
Celebrity Infiniti - December 8, 2017 - Chili & Argentina (Around the Horn)!
Celebrity Edge - April 14, 2019 - Western Caribbean


Completed Cruises:
Celebrity Summit - November 26, 2016 - Southern Caribbean (Penthouse Goofs Again)
Celebrity Xpedition - October 5, 2014 - Galapagos (Seals, Penguins and Boobies, Oh My)!
RCI Allure of the Seas - September 2, 2012 - Eastern Caribbean (Aft Boardwalk Balcony; 24 Restaurants in 7 Days)!
Celebrity Millennium - May 27, 2012 - Pacific Coastal Wine Cruise with Temecula, San Diego, and Vancouver Land Add On (Sky Suite GTY)
Celebrity Millennium - February 20, 2012 - Western Caribbean (Adult Spring Break: SoBe, Millie & The Penthouse)
Celebrity Silhouette - September 27, 2011 - Holy Land (Concierge Class)
Celebrity Equinox - October 31, 2010 - Mediterranean & Westbound Transatlantic with the Hobgoblins (First Suite)
Celebrity Equinox - December 4, 2009 - Southern Caribbean (Aqua Class "Hump" Stateroom)
RCI Jewel of the Seas - January 9, 2009 - Panama Canal Cruise with the Panamaniacs!
Celebrity Century - April 28, 2008 - Transatlantic: Miami to Amsterdam Honeymoon Cruise with the Centurions!
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RCI Adventure of the Seas - November 26, 2006 - Eastern Caribbean
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#7
120 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
In our opinion, of course!! In the $25 range are Washington State Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells series Cabernet or Merlot. Full, rich -- just about perfect, we think. Their regular wines, both white and red, are great. But the Indian Wells series are superb. We are bringing a case with us for 4 ppl for 7 day cruise.
#8
Alief TX
1,442 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by oma&opa
the Indian Wells series are superb. We are bringing a case with us for 4 ppl for 7 day cruise.
Alrighty then - that is worth a bottle of each to give 'em a pre-cruise

Thanks!

Rick
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#9
England
9 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
i lovce red wines can i get those when i need if yes then please tell me the best place from where i can get those wines at very cost effective rates please??
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#10
Pennsylvania
5,563 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I rely heavily on Wine Spectator recipes to tell me what to try; for a cruise I'm generally interested in spending $35-50 on a bottle (the corkage fee is higher on Cunard ships than Princess, so I dig a little deeper to make up the differential). I have an iPhone app $3 a month) for Wine Spectator to help me shop.

I really like Stags Leap Wine Cellers "Artemis" Cabernet (Napa). Around $50-55. Wine Spectator (WS) rating for 2009 vintage = 83
I'm interested in trying a good Pauillac (french red) and I have my eyes set on a Chateau Lynch-Moussas, 2003 or 2009. Around $50. WS 90 (2003) or 87 (2009)
Another French wine I picked up at the local wine store (state-run in PA, so selection is a bit hit-and-miss) is a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Olivier Hillaire (2007) for $40-45. WS 93

If you live near a "Total Wine and More" store (in Texas there are branches in Dallas and in Fort Worth) they have an extremely useful webpage that links to WS ratings, and you can create shopping lists and (I think) order for shipment or pickup. Even if you can't shop there you can pick up many recommendations & ratings from the website.

Although the stated rule is one bottle per person, I think Princess is flexible in this regard, so don't be too worried about carrying on one or two extra. No need to smuggle the excess.

EDIT: OK, so I see you're closer to Houston so the Dallas/Fort Worth recommendation isn't necessarily useful.
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#11
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by cb at sea
Considering that 1 bottle of wine will only yield about 4 glasses, it may be cheaper just to buy it onboard...when you add the $15 corkage fee to each bottle you've already paid for!

Do NOT worry about what the staff thinks of your wine selection....they truly don't care one whit what wine you like! And under NO circumstances should the "sommelier" drink any of your wine!!!!!
Actually a true sommelier will discretely ask the person who presents the bottle for uncorking and decanting if they would like him/her to try a small taste first to be sure the wine isn't spoiled. Also if bringing your own bottle, it's customary to offer a small pour to the sommelier.

By the way, they most certainly DO care. A good sommelier will cringe (inwardly) when they see a bad pairing or poorly made wine. They will also pay you extra attention if you bring along something particularly special. Bring a First Growth or Bionic Frog and offer the somm a splash and you'll have a friend for life. (I know this from experience)
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#12
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
A bottle of wine is five glasses, at a typical dinner it would be expected that each guest would drink two or even three glasses over the course of the meal.

With four people you are likely to have four different meals ordered which presents a problem with pairing. I'd suggest you bring a better Champagne or sparkling wine with a Blanc de Blanc or Brut classification which will pair with pretty much anything.
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Past Cruises...
April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.
My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here
20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#13
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by Gonzo70
Any of the Belle Glos family of wines; the less expensive wines under the same family (Meiomi) are also quite good for the money. Meiomi runs about $20, Belle Glos around $40 to $60. The same family also has higher end wines under the Caymus brand that are outstanding, but quite pricey.
I have to disagree about much of this. Caymus wines have been riding on the Wagner name since Randy Dunn left in 1982. They are over-priced and of moderate quality. Even the Special Select isn't up to the standards that it's price point suggests. There are hundreds if not thousands of better Cabernet Sauvignons in comparable price points. Look to Shafer, Long Shadows, Parallel, Vineyard 29, or Mark Ryan as a start. If you can find a Dunn Howell Mountain with at least eight years of age on it, that can be a terrific bottle after a decant. (Also Bordeaux Second-Growths and South Africa, but that's an entirely different conversation.)

The Belle Glos wines are good, however even there you can do better for the money. Domaine Drouhin both from Burgundy and the Willamette Valley are terrific and readily available, but Domaine Serene offers the best value for the money in that price point in readily available wines. I'm a big fan of Kosta Brown, but it can be difficult to find and I'll readily concede is stylistically not for everyone.
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Past Cruises...
April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.
My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here
20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#14
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by oma&opa
In our opinion, of course!! In the $25 range are Washington State Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells series Cabernet or Merlot. Full, rich -- just about perfect, we think. Their regular wines, both white and red, are great. But the Indian Wells series are superb. We are bringing a case with us for 4 ppl for 7 day cruise.
I would never call any wine that Chateau Ste Michelle produces "superb." They are, however, very good quality to price values with their whites. I don't think they do a particularly good job with reds, and there are a great many that are much better at a similar price point.

What they do best is their Riesling, although the Riesling that former CSM CEO Allen Shoup has created with Armand Diel and Gilles Nicault at Long Shadows is quite superior and only a few dollars a bottle more.
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Past Cruises...
April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.
My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here
20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#16
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by sminfiddle
[list]
[*]First dinner is at Crown Grill so one will be enjoyed there
I'd probably look to the Southern Rhone varietals if you don't want to bring Champagne/Sparkling Wine. While the Bordeaux varietals pair beautifully with beef, they aren't always complimentary to lamb or pork, which it's quite possible that one of your party would select.

I'd probably choose a Chateauneuf-du-Pape which is a perfect pairing with pork and adequate pairing with beef or lamb. Some to look for would be Clos Du Papes, Domaine de la Charbonniere, Le Vieux Donjon, Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe or look towards Washington State (Rasa, Cayuse, Waters, Long Shadows), the Central Coast of California (SQN, Linne Calodo, Lillian, Saxum), or Penfolds (Australia).

Or perhaps plan on two bottles, one featuring Rhone varietals and a second featuring Bordeaux varietals.
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Past Cruises...
April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.
My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here
20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#17
Alief TX
1,442 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by ducklite
I'd probably look to the Southern Rhone varietals if you don't want to bring Champagne/Sparkling Wine. While the Bordeaux varietals pair beautifully with beef, they aren't always complimentary to lamb or pork, which it's quite possible that one of your party would select.
...

Or perhaps plan on two bottles, one featuring Rhone varietals and a second featuring Bordeaux varietals.
Being the Crown Grill, beef will be the focus for my wife and myself. Don't think the grown-up "kids" will go right for lamb here, but I do plan on ordering (at least) a "4-pack" of lobster tails to divide.
The Crown Grill meal alone could merit its own wine thread! "What two bottles..." LOL

Ducklite, your contributions have been helpful beyond helpful.
I have a good friend in Washington state with what I hear is a great collection. Probably time to start buttering bartering and begging...

Rick
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"Bow ties are cool" - Doctor Who
#18
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by sminfiddle
Being the Crown Grill, beef will be the focus for my wife and myself. Don't think the grown-up "kids" will go right for lamb here, but I do plan on ordering (at least) a "4-pack" of lobster tails to divide.
The Crown Grill meal alone could merit its own wine thread! "What two bottles..." LOL

Ducklite, your contributions have been helpful beyond helpful.
I have a good friend in Washington state with what I hear is a great collection. Probably time to start buttering bartering and begging...

Rick
If you are planning on Surf and Turf I would strongly suggest Champagne.

You can't go wrong with a Schramsberg Brut, a Francois Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Brut, a Le Reve by Domaine Carneros, or my favorite, Perrier-Jouët Champagne Cuvee Fleur de Champagne. Most of those should be readily available in a better wine shop.
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Past Cruises...
April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.
My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here
20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#19
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
PS--While I am far from being a Master Sommelier, I plan on taking (and fully expect to pass) the Level I course and exam for the Court of Masters in 2013 and am hoping to take and pass the Level II exam by the end of 2014 to become Certified.
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Past Cruises...
April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.
My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here
20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#20
107,168 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
There is a Total Wine store just off 17th Street in the Harbor Shops -- behind the Embassy Suites -- in Ft Lauderdale.

Lots of choices:

http://www.totalwine.com/?utm_source...m=total%20wine
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