We will be boarding Crystal Serenity in a couple of weeks, and it has been two years since we last sailed on that line, so I don't remember much about the wines they served (perhaps because Crystal is so generous with its wine service), but I would appreciate hearing any thoughts from recent Crystal cruisers on the complimentary wines and champagnes the cruise line is currently serving. We love champagne, and I'm curious what the "house" champagne is these days? We also do not much care for California chardonnays (we like the ones from France and Italy), and we are particularly fond of New Zealand sauvignon blancs, Austrian whites and Italian reds. Any insights on those types of wine?
Even though we live in California, we rarely drink wines grown in our state, not because they aren't well made. It is because they have become very high in alcohol. When we first started drinking California wines 50 years ago, they generally were around 12.5 percent alcohol; now many of them are pushing 15 percent, and we find that they not only make you more inebriated, they totally overwhelm the food your eating with those very hot wines. As any math expert will tell you, the difference between a 12-percent wine and the 15-percent variety is about 25 percent more alcohol, not 3 percent higher.
We met a California vintner on a cruise once, and when we asked him why the state's wines are so high in alcohol these days, he first said that was because of the California weather, but when we challenged that (we know alcohol content is not just based on weather, but on when you pick your grapes), he got a little testy and said, "Look you boomers aren't going to drink any more than you already do. We have to go after younger drinkers, and they want a glass of wine to have a very bold taste like a cocktail. We call it the Red Bull effect.''
Any information on Crystal's current complimentary wine list would be appreciated. I know we can just wait until we board the ship, but part of the fun of cruising for us is to enjoy the anticipation phase of the journey by thinking about what we plan to do on Serenity, and that includes lots of wining and dining.