Champagne Comes From France, Not California (fyi Team White House)

C’mon, nowjust who is minding the White House p’s & q’s? 

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For the Inaugural luncheon taking place in a few days at the White House where the president will be sworn in, the menu features steamed lobster, hickory grilled bison, apple pie and “Special Inaugural Cuvee Champagne, California.”

Call it Bubbly, call it Sparkling but just don’t call anything that doesn’t come from Champagne, France, “champagne”!

“Champagne only comes from Champagne,” said Sam Heitner, the director of the U.S. Champagne Bureau speaking to the AFP last week. Champagne is the region in France where Champagne comes from. It comes from nowhere else.

In 2006 the EU signed a deal with the United States banning U.S. producers from using the word “champagne” on their labels. But the law is not enforceable retroactively and there’s also a little loophole that allows them to get away with saying “California Champagne.” 

A local Champagne newspaper commented on the diplomatic snafu saying that good thing Google is not so sensitive. But that’s an altogether entirely different matter. Champagne indicates a certain level of quality control and also, most importantly, terroir. It’s more akin to movie piracy, for example, or devices that aren’t Apple being sold as Apple or Disney wannabes being marketed as Disney movies. It’s intoleratable because it’s PIRACY!

That said, there are many French houses who own wineries in California where they make sparkling wines. One is Taittinger. But even that famed Champagne House/ Family does not dare to call their California Sparkling Wines by the name champagne. That’s reserved for their champagne, which they make in Champagne, France. 

See – it’s not so complicated after all!

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