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My impressions of the new wine menu


Brisbane41
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I have cruised with Princess for about 14 years now. I really enjoy the line and keep going back for more each year.

 

Recently they changed their wine and beverage menu. I have held off commenting until I experienced a little and did not want to go off my first impressions.

 

Now after 4 cruises since the introduction of the new wine menu, I seriously think their wine selection tastes like nothing more than regurgitated water filtered through cut grass that has seriously soured and has no resemblance to wine whatsoever. I honestly cannot drink the garbage they are now serving on the wine menu. Red and white it is all revoltingly off.

 

I am not sure what others think of it but I am keen to find out either love it or hate it.

 

As for me I will now be reverting to drinking beer or spirits only and will not be touching their wine ever again.

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Princess have always had a heavy emphasis on Californian wines which taste very different to anything we produce in Australia. They used to have a couple of nice reds from Argentina and Chile which were closer to the Australian palate. I'm trying to be diplomatic here, but as Australians, we are really spoilt for quality and choice.

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It was their last menu particularly the world wide range including American wine which I found far superior to the new menu. For example the Hogue Riesling was my all time favourite on the Princess ships and I would often purchase bottles of it during the cruise.

 

I don't have time for Fosters, never liked it.

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I find many of the new wine offerings to be very un-pleasing. I primarily drink chardonnays, and there's only one of the options on the new list that I have found to be drinkable (for my uneducated palate), and it happens to be the least expensive one on the list.

There were several on the previous wine menu that my taste buds approved of, allowing me to have other choices if they ran out of the one that was my first choice. Now, if they run out of the one I like,  as they sometimes do, especially on long cruises, there's no fall-back option for me.

Very disappointing.

 

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2 minutes ago, flamomo said:

I find many of the new wine offerings to be very un-pleasing. I primarily drink chardonnays, and there's only one of the options on the new list that I have found to be drinkable (for my uneducated palate), and it happens to be the least expensive one on the list.

There were several on the previous wine menu that my taste buds approved of, allowing me to have other choices if they ran out of the one that was my first choice. Now, if they run out of the one I like,  as they sometimes do, especially on long cruises, there's no fall-back option for me.

Very disappointing.

 

Thanks very much for saying this. I like Chardonnay occasionally as well. I am very used to it being an oak taste to it. I used to be happy with all previous versions. With the current menu it is no undrinkable. I do now know what on earth they did to find all wines to be of similar taste that are somewhat sour and have a taste that will give me a quick headache.

 

I would not say that your palate is uneducated, people know what taste they like and what they don't like. 

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2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

I lot of Aussies agree with you on Fosters. None of my family drink it.

 

It's strange that Fosters is seen as THE Aussie beer but it's almost impossible to find at my local grog shops.

As for the wine I only drink red and I thought a couple were ok. Although as a Shiraz drinker I think I had a choice of one. My wife drinks Moscato which I think is battery acid but you cannot get it on Princess now whereas you could previously. Strange because it is gaining in popularity.

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Hello to all of our friends down under.  I think it is pretty obvious that Princess is very focused on the USA market and you might also consider that the line is run with the home office staff (including those who select wines) mostly USA folks.  To make matters worse, Princess is headquartered in California and the West Coast folks have their own wine tastes which lean heavily to West Coast USA wines.  Our wines (and the taste of many American palates) tend to be more "fruit forward" then many folks from other parts of the world.  As to Chardonnays, there is a trend here towards "unoaked" which seems to mean that the wines are not aged other then some time in stainless steel.  Personally I prefer the French style Chards which have some of the oak taste.  But when we were recently on the Caribbean Princess the package we bought was for a specific number of wines (heavily discounted) and we could choose any wine from the list that was priced below a certain amount.  I do not remember the exact numbers but we bought the higher end package so we could select any wine priced up to about $45.  And even if we wanted something more expensive our  wine steward would only charge us the extra cost over that $45 (ie. we would be billed $5 if we bought a $50 bottle).

 

Next week we will be on the Emerald and it will be interesting to see what "package" they will offer on that ship.  And by the way, when we were on the CB (last month) there was no attempt by staff to promote the wine package.  We had to actually ask.  I do not even recall any printed material on the packages in the wine list.  Apparently there were supposed to be two packages (silver and gold) but they would only sell the gold (the more expensive package) and told us the other package was not available.

 

Hank

 

 

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2 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Apparently there were supposed to be two packages (silver and gold) but they would only sell the gold (the more expensive package) and told us the other package was not available.

No Silver because either no or virtually no wines fit into the price limit that package used to have.

 

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Come on now, Brisbane; don't hold back-- tell us what you REALLY think! 😆

 

But seriously...I got a look at it about a year ago, when it was introduced fleet-wide in advance of my last trip w Princess-- and I was quite enthusiastic.  Just the sort of moderately-priced, high-value choices I favor when I shop for wine-- in fact, I had some personal familiarity with many of the items on their new list.  So maybe on your cruise Princess loaded a pallet that had been accidentally stored in a hot attic for six months? 😱

 

Or maybe, as the saying goes, it's just a case of "there's no accounting for taste", aka "different strokes for different folks".  You do have a way with words, at any rate! 😉

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I think the new wine list is far superior to the old one.  Sure enough, there were some wines that I enjoyed that are no longer available.  However, the new list has so many more choices.

 

 

5 hours ago, Hlitner said:

 Personally I prefer the French style Chards which have some of the oak taste.

 

 

Hank, take a look at the Meursault on the Princess list.  My wife ordered a bottle one evening in Crown Grill, and she really enjoyed it.  I had a glass (I'd brought a California Cabernet Sauvignon to have with my Lamb Chops.) and thought it was a very good representative of Old World Chardonnay.

 

 

7 hours ago, Brisbane41 said:

Thanks very much for saying this. I like Chardonnay occasionally as well. I am very used to it being an oak taste to it. I used to be happy with all previous versions. With the current menu it is no undrinkable. I do now know what on earth they did to find all wines to be of similar taste that are somewhat sour and have a taste that will give me a quick headache.

 

I would not say that your palate is uneducated, people know what taste they like and what they don't like. 

 

I find it difficult to understand how a person who is looking for oak in Chardonnay cannot find one on the current wine list.  I would point, immediately, to the Rombauer--arguably, the oakiest wine from California, which, probably, makes it the oakiest wine in the world.  There are multiple others, though.  The words "Butter," "Caramel," or "Vanilla" in the wine descriptions all indicate heavy oaking.

 

This is not to say that these are the only indicators.  In the case of California wines, unless you see either "unoaked" or "steel fermented" in the description, you can, pretty much, rely on being able to detect oak in the wine.

 

 

 

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Wow ... I am really surprised at these comments although, the post that stated 'different strokes for different folks' pretty much sums it up!  

I love love love the new wine list and purchase a wine bottle package whenever the opportunity is there to do so. 

I think the Mer Soleil is a wonderful Chardonnay, although, on the first cruise I purchased it, it was from the Santa Barbara region and most recently, this selection was from the Monterey region.  Both are good but the Santa Barbara one is superior.  

The Rombauer Chardonnay is one of the most wonderful chardonnays ever produced.  It is very popular here in the Bay Area, so much so, they oftentimes run out of it at all the wine stores.  

The Paraduxx red and Ferrari Carano Cab are also very wonderful red wines that are on the new wine list.  

The Gloria Ferrar (sp?) sparking wine is also quite good and the Mianeto (sp?) is far from swill.  

Since we live so close to wine country, we do taste many different wines but obviously, we have California taste in wine.  I've actually enjoy many white wines from Australia and red wines from Chile and Argentina as well, though.  Could our tastes be that much different?  To each his own, I guess.  

 

I swore that after my last sailing on Princess with the old wine list that I couldn't drink another bottle of Clos Du Bois as long as I lived ... and now, it's been 2 years since I've poured a glass of that.  I just got tired of that being my only choice for white wine.  

 

 

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7 minutes ago, greenie082756 said:

Is my understanding of the wine menu correct? That if it does not have a glass price you can only

purchase by the bottle?

I saw a few that interested me but I do not want to buy the whole bottle and find out it is not 

what I thought it would be.

Correct, if a bottle does not have a per glass price you must buy the bottle, and if you have the PBP then you can get 25% off any bottle under $100.

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3 hours ago, c-boy said:

well Brisbane what was your take on bin # 115 ?

I did try it and did not like it one bit. If I had liked it I would have bought a whole bottle but with that one I did not buy a third glass. I did buy a second glass on a desperate day just to make doubly sure that my taste was not off.

 

I don't think its the American wines that I have a problem with. The previous list had American wines which I really liked that are no longer available.

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While food and drink are very personal choices based on so many variables, I did want to note that Princess was accorded a major award for their new wine list by what is often considered the sine qua non of wine connoisseur rating body, Wine Spectator.....

Princess Cruises Earns Wine Spectator 2019 Restaurant Award of Excellence

Michelangelo Dining Room Recognized Among 3,800 Winners; Full 2019 Dining Guide Revealed in Wine Spectator's August Issue

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