Champagne War Bubbles Over

Old Mar 7th, 2008, 06:49 AM
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Champagne War Bubbles Over

... in Brussels where in past months some unopened 14,000 bottles of California Andre Champagne have been crushed - many were seized from a ship taking them from New York to Nigeria where they would be supplied to cruise ships

But since the ship put into Antwerp en route Belgian Customs officials got a whiff of them and seized them as illegal contraband

re-heating the Champagne war that the EU has periodically waged against the likes of American producers who have the audacity to call their bubbly Champagne - heresy to the French and EU who insist only Champagne made from grapes grown in the tiny Champagne growing district around Reims and Epernay and along the Marne in France.

No one else in Europe can use the name Champagne though they can i think say Champagne Method or Method Champeignoise (sp?) as you see on sparkling wines from other areas of France.

Ironically i believe some of the California Champagne is produced by major French Champagne producers.

The EU promises to mount a vigorous campaign again to outlaw the use of Champagne on champagne made anywhere else.

Similar to Czech brewer Budweiser trying to corner the term budweiser and the U.S. not allowing their exports here to carry the word Budweiser (thus Budvar, etc. is used)

The EU action seems silly to me

let real Champagne stand on its good name and presumed superior taste - where it comes from - a DOC should suffice.

But for now don't bring any Champagne into EU unless it's from the real Champagne

Not that we would, like bringing coal to Newcastle of course.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 07:12 AM
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Champagne comes from Champagne, Cognac from Cognac, Prosciutto di Parma from Parma, Black Forest Ham from Black Forest etc.

Anything else is nothing but plagiarism.

There is no California "Champagne" - it is Californian sparkling wine. Period.

Naming sparkling wine which has not been produced in Champagne "Champagne" is an act of fraud. Fraud is criminal, not only in the EU.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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I suspose you feel the same about things like:

Swiss cheese
Cheddar cheese
Etc
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 08:50 AM
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Unusually, I'm with the French on this. Real champagne stands head and shoulders above fizz from elsewhere and is the product of centuries of experience. There is nothing wrong with producing sparkling wine using the 'methode champagnois' anywhere in the world, and most of it is very good, but champagne it ain't. Try a comparison tasting if you don't believe me.

Cheddar, Stilton cheese etc - I believe there are now legal definitions of how these are made, and the bacteria to be used and so on, in Europe anyway. 'Swiss cheese' is a generic term used in the USA. Real Swiss cheeses have their own names, gruyere, emmenthal and so on. I refer you to the old Monty Python 'cheese shop' sketch for more.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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French fries?
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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You might call them French Fries, but we call them chips and the French call them pommes frites, which describes exactly what they are.

But they have to be made from potatoes, nothing else. Champagne has to be made in the Champagne region of France. Simple really.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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PalenQ - I amy be mistaken, but I think the American company that uses the same name has been the one to instigate most of the lawsuites against Budweiser in the Czech Rebublic, and not the other way around (Even though the latter is hundreds of years old, and there is no doubt whatsoever that they were first to use the name).
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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willit - i think you indeed are right.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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stfc - "Real champagne stands head and shoulders above fizz from elsewhere and is the product of centuries of experience. There is nothing wrong with producing sparkling wine using the 'methode champagnois' anywhere in the world, and most of it is very good, but champagne it ain't. Try a comparison tasting if you don't believe me."

Amen, especially "Andre". It's an embarrassment to all California sparkling wine, of which there are some which are really good. Still, nothing compares to real Champagne.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Just to clarify a point made above...there are a number of French Champagne houses operating in the Napa/Sonoma region, including Domaine Chandon, Domaine Carneros, and Domaine Mumm. None of these producers call their product champagne, although several do produce a fine product. As for the destruction of 14,000 bottles of André Champagne, I must say it seems to be a gain for the cruise ship passengers!
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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I'm not surprised. Truth in labeling laws are nothing new. I believe under U.S. law, wines cannot say "Napa" unless they are made of at least 75% Napa grapes. "Organic" means something also. And I believe "Kona" Coffee is also protected. Nothing new.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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How about Burgundy wines in USA - lots of box wines and cheap bottled wine just say Burgundy on it

Is that Hoyle
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 05:35 AM
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"Burgundy" is no problem, but do not call it "Bourgogne"!

BTW, it is really fraud with the "champagne" thing. Last year, I booked a cruise on an American cruise ship. And I payed extra for a kind of VIP package that said "including a bottle of champagne". What we got was not champagne but a cremant de Loire which you can buy in every French supermarket for 4.95 Euros.

Another point:

Maine lobster is world-famous because of the fresh cold water in which the animals are raised. Imagine, I would raise lobsters in a brackish harbour in the Chinese Sea and would sell them under the label "Maine lobster" - with some fine print saying that they are from China. Would you like that?
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 05:39 AM
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Does China thus have the rights to the name China?
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 06:21 AM
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Can Bourbon produce and sell in France~Sweet Chance. The American Bourbon distillers would run direct to the judges.

Bourbon is exactly as the Champagne.

If I'm wrong and this would be acceptable, I would start a new business called Jack Diniels Bourbon.

Blackduff
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