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Using the Name "Champagne" #354997 03/11/09 02:26 AM
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Lisa Shea Offline OP
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I am very much in favor of making wine drinking easy for everyone. I want labels to be as clear as possible. I want labels to say where a wine is from, what grapes are in it and what it tastes like. A wine shouldn't just say "Bordeaux" and make the drinker guess what is in it - it should list the grapes and percentages smile

So that being said as my philosophical background. I don't mind at all when wine drinkers talk about "Champagne" and mean bubbly stuff. I don't want them to feel badly that they are "using the wrong term". It's bubbly. They've been taught the word for this is "Champagne". We can ease them into realizing that Champagne is one special region in France, and that there is cava from Spain, or Asti Spumanti from Italy, and some of those intricacies.

On the other hand, though, it does bother me if a WINERY has the word "Champagne" on their label and it is not from Champagne France. The winery should be doing their best to make wine easy for the consumer. If they start confusing things by calling their wine something it is not, it just perpetuates the problems of the consumer trying to figure out how all this stuff works.

What are your thoughts?


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Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Lisa Shea] #355016 03/12/09 05:43 PM
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Peter May Offline
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There are many good sparkling wines and, if language is to communicate something, then saying 'champagne' should mean the wine from Champagne.

If you want to communicate any sparkling wine, then why not say 'sparkling wine'?

Champagne means not only the region the wine comes from, but the grape varieties, the amount of production, used the method of making and the amount of ageing -- among other things.


Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Peter May] #355018 03/12/09 10:47 PM
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Lisa Shea Offline OP
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Right I definitely agree and that needs to start at the winery level, so that consumers are trained to understand that.

My concern is that a new wine drinker who sees all these "Champagnes" from other locations is being trained to think "OK all bubbly things are Champagnes". Then they go into a wine forum and call something a Champagne and get yelled at for it. So then they feel sad and stop visiting and learning. I would hope we can be understanding that they call a bubbly a Champagne because it's what the industry has incorrectly trained them to do.


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Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Lisa Shea] #355602 05/10/09 03:58 PM
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Harold Keith Offline
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Originally Posted by Lisa Shea
...
My concern is that a new wine drinker who sees all these "Champagnes" from other locations is being trained to think "OK all bubbly things are Champagnes"...


It is illegal to call Australian sparkling wine 'champagne'. Is that not so in the US? What non-Champagne regions are still using the term?

I know it is still common usage by consumers, but there really shouldn't be any wineries using misleading labeling anymore. Australia's iconic "Grange" used to be "Grange Hermitage" but dropped the "Hermitage" over a decade ago, I think. And many other terms have been outlawed in Australia: burgundy, port, tokay, sherry.

Brie is not Brie unless it comes from France, and Chedder is not Chedder unless it comes from England, etc, by law. They are trademarked terms. I seem to remember that in the 70's the Potato Farmers in Idaho had a big campaign to stop farmers in other states from using their trademarked term 'Idaho Potato'. And Coca-Cola gets real upset if you sell Pepsi and call it Coke.

Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Harold Keith] #355628 05/24/09 07:19 PM
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Lisa Shea Offline OP
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Wikipedia says:

"Through international treaty, national law, most countries limit the use of the term to only those wines that come from the Champagne appellation. In Europe, this principle is enshrined in the European Union by Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Other countries, such as the United States, have recognized the exclusive nature of this name, yet maintain a legal structure that allows longtime domestic producers of sparkling wine to continue to use the term "Champagne" under specific circumstances."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_(wine)

So yes definitely there are US wineries that create "Champagne" and I believe other countries do as well. I believe it's illegal in the EU to use the term, so I would imagine it would be countries in South America and such that still use the term.

That's an excellent question though. Does anybody have photos of CURRENT labels that are not from Champagne but that say they contain Champagne?


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Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Lisa Shea] #355629 05/24/09 07:23 PM
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Lisa Shea Offline OP
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OK here's an easy to find example. If you go to the Korbel Champagne Cellars -

http://www.korbel.com/

Their label is right on the front page and it clearly says

"Korbel California Champagne"

The homepage says

"Korbel Champagne Cellars has continued its pursuit of excellence for more than 120 years as America's number one selling premiere champagne. Make Korbel a momentous part of every occasion."


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Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Lisa Shea] #355641 05/24/09 08:21 PM
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Peter May Offline
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Originally Posted by Lisa Shea
So yes definitely there are US wineries that create "Champagne"


No smile

There are US wineries that label their sprakling wine as Champagne, but they do not create Champagne.

As Francis Boulard will explain when we are in Champagne, the word encompasses so much more than just the method of secondary fermentation.

Korbel make an excellent sparkling wine and they have labelled their fizz with the 'C' word for more than 100 years so I do have some sympathy, but they should be proud of what they do make and not try to pretend it is champagne. Because it is not.

Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Peter May] #355656 06/18/09 05:27 PM
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Lisa Shea Offline OP
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LOL well I did put it in quotes, to indicate that they create "a thing that they call Champagne".

Cook's is in California and they make "Cook's California Champagne" -

http://www.cookschampagne.com/CBICMS/cookschampagne/home.html


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Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Lisa Shea] #355659 06/19/09 05:21 PM
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Peter May Offline
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Notice on their explanation on how they make their fizz how very careful they are to avoid mentioning a second fermentation in the bottle ....

So, its not made in Champagne, its not made by the Champagne method, its not made using the same grape varieties as in Champagne, its not made under the Champagne regulations that control how long its aged, what the quality of grapes it and etc.

So why do they call it champagne?

Could it by any remote chance because they want to take the kudos of the famous name, rather like those people who'll sell you a $10 fake Rolex watch?

Last edited by Peter May; 06/19/09 05:22 PM.
Re: Using the Name "Champagne" [Re: Peter May] #355675 07/01/09 04:58 AM
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Lisa Shea Offline OP
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Yes I agree with you completely, they are trying to lure you in with the name and its surrounding impression. They definitely should NOT call it Champagne, they should call it "bubbly".


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