Side by Side Tasting of the Kirkland Champagne – New Bottle vs Old Bottle
There’s been a bit of a debate going on among readers about the new bottle design for the Kirkland Champagne. The new bottle is shorter and wider (pictured on the right above), and some people have found it to taste differently than the original one.
So I thought it would be fun to go side by side with the old and the new, look at the similarities and differences, and then do a side by side blind tasting with a few friends to see what everyone thinks.
As long time readers will know this is one of my favorite wine buys at Costco as I’ve found this to be very solid, real French Champagne for the unbeatable price of $20. It has allowed me to drink Champagne more often because it’s so far below the usual $50 entry point for most good bottles of Champagne. Or you can opt for the French Cremants, like this one, and they can be good but it’s just not the same as the real deal, at least for me.
So let’s get into comparing the old and the new formats of this wine. The good news is the price has stayed the same at $19.99. Again, a great price point for real Champagne.
The description of the back label is interesting. The old bottle is pictured on the left above, new bottle on the right. At first it appears they are saying the same thing just in a different order. It’s important to note here that the same producer is listed, Manuel Janisson of Verzenay, France.
The tasting notes listed on the label are slightly different though. They both play up the citrus character of the wines but the old bottle mentions gingerbread, orange and peach and the new one mentions lemon, brioche, green apple and apricot.
Alcohol is the same; importer is the same. Cosmetically I think that covers most of the similarities and differences, so let’s open them up and see what we’ve got.
I served them in the same glass, same temperature, blind to four different people. Pictured above you can see a side by side comparison of the color of the wines. Again, the old bottle is on the left, new one on the right. We all agreed they look exactly the same.
Taste-wide, we also agreed that they are the same wine. A couple of times one of us thought we picked up more sweetness in one than the other, but then on the next taste it could flip the other way. Maybe we were hoping to pick up on some differences? I don’t know, but in the end, all of us concluded that it was the same wine poured from both bottles.
It was a super fun experiment as it is always a fun night when the Champagne is flowing. It just puts everyone in a good mood and that’s why I can drink it almost anytime. In the end, I’m happy we still have this great Champagne from Costco for $20. If you’re a bubbly fan and enjoy the Kirkland Prosecco, or other sparkling bottles from Costco, I highly encourage you to give it a try, especially around the holidays and the New Year.
Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below. Is it the same wine, or slightly different?