French Winemakers in a Tizzy over Obama Inauguration “Champagne California”

French Winemakers in a Tizzy over Obama Inauguration “Champagne California”

In a move COMPLETELY UNCHARACTERISTIC of their nation, French winemakers have once again screamed “SACRE BLEU!!!” over a U.S. wine.
This time, it’s the wine that Mr. Barack Hussein Obama II plans to serve at his upcoming inauguration.

The problem all stems from the name of the wine and the order of its wording: “Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, California.”

Just so you know, I’ve actually seen another name for this wine in similar news articles, which name it as: “Korbel Natural Russian River Valley Champagne.” Either way, it’s still wrong, as it should be listed as “California Champagne” according to U.S. wine law.

Officials from the Champagne Bureau were very quick to jump into attack-mode, and have “voiced their concerns” (as the French do best) in a letter to New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies….otherwise known as the man with the world’s longest business card.

The Committee responded by saying that the wine way is in-fact labeled correctly, however it’s the menu that’s wrong and will be corrected before the big day.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts…

Yeah…and if you believe that, you’ll believe anything!

Call me a cynic, but I would put money on it that Korbel labeled the Champagne incorrectly, the French got pissed at Washington, Washington got pissed and called California; and as we speak, there’s some low-level intern at Korbel armed only with a Sharpie, correcting 1,000 bottles of California fizzy plonk…

On another note, I can’t WAIT till the day I get to write a story entitled “French winemakers SUPER PSYCHED over something winemakers in a another country have done!”…alas, I think that day may never come…


  • January 15, 2013

    Global Voyeur

    About the use of the word ‘Champagne’.

    From Wikipedia, says it all, only sparkling wines produced in the Champagne region of France can use this name, in the US wines that has been in production since 2006 or earlier may maintain the name if followed by the region name – like ‘Champagne California’. To now name new Californian sparkling wines with ‘Champagne’ is illegal by US law. Why not build a separate brand name for it like the Spanish have done with ‘Cava’ or follow the lines of US whiskey that is called bourbon?

    There are many sparkling wines produced worldwide, yet most legal structures reserve the word champagne exclusively for sparkling wines from the Champagne region, made in accordance with Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne regulations. In the European Union and many other countries, the name Champagne is legally protected by the Treaty of Madrid (1891), which reserved it for the sparkling wine produced in the eponymous region and adhering to the standards defined for it as an Appellation d’origine contrôlée; the protection was reaffirmed in the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. Similar legal protection has been adopted by over 70 countries. Most recently Canada, Australia,[15] and Chile signed agreements with Europe that limit the use of the term “champagne” to only those products produced in the Champagne region. The United States bans the use from all new U.S.-produced wines.[3] Only those that had approval to use the term on labels before 2006 may continue to use it and only when it is accompanied by the wine’s actual origin (e.g., “California”).[3] The majority of U.S.-produced sparkling wines do not use the term champagne on their labels [16] and some states, such as Oregon,[17] ban producers in their states from using the term.

  • January 15, 2013

    Suzy Bergman

    The real question is, why is the WH serving Korbel at such an important event?? (I realize that you want to support US businesses.),But why not serve some truly memorable California Sparkling Wine from a Estate that partners with a great Champagne House? Think Roederer Estate, or Domaine Carneros. Not Korbel. Chances are, the White House Sommelier is getting a pretty big kickback from the lobbyist group “lucky” enough to have Korbel as a client.

  • January 15, 2013

    Kris Chislett

    A VERY good question! I’ve no doubt Korbel went “all out” for this particular bottling, but I agree that there are plenty of other Californian sparklers that would have been a more suitable choice. Then again…they don’t have the “marketing budget” of Korbel… ;)

Leave a Reply