Andre Cold Duck California Champagne is my absolute favorite sparking wine from the folks over at Andre. I love it on multiple levels. First off, I think the name is fabulous. I don’t know why, but it makes me immediately want to drink it. The next thing I love about Andre Cold Duck California Champagne is the price. How can you not love $5 sparkling wine?
Finally, I like my drinks with as storied a history as the Cold Duck. The Cold Duck was not an Andre invention but instead was formulated at the Pontchartrain Wine Cellars by Harold Borgman way back in the 1930’s. Based on an old German tradition, he mixed sparkling and red wine at an approximately two to one ratio. Andre got into the Cold Duck business in the 1960’s with the release of Andre Cold Duck California Champagne in Canada. Unfortunately, Andre did not follow the same recipe as Borgman, and the Andre Cold Duck California Champagne has never reached the level of quality of Borgman’s original Cold Duck.
Despite the great history, at the end of the day you do have to drink the stuff. The Andre Cold Duck California Champagne is a blend of American Sparkling Burgundy and American Champagne that is bottled at a gentle 9.5% alcohol. Once chilled, the Andre Cold Duck California Champagne tastes most similar to grape soda. A lot of people like grape soda (myself included), so this is not meant necessarily as a bad thing. It is very sweet, has a somewhat artificial flavor, and is bursting with bubbles.
Andre Cold Duck California Champagne: The Verdict
If you go into your Andre Cold Duck California Champagne experience thinking in the right frame of mind, you could actually enjoy yourself. However, this wine should not be held up against other sparkling wines, as it does not belong anywhere near that category. Instead, if you think of this in more of the alcoholic soda realm, it can meet your needs in a cost effective manner.