French irritated by Obama's inaugural 'champagne'
An industry group says bubbly planned for the inauguration lunch is mislabeled, but US law disagrees.
You know, French champagne lobbyists, you make it really difficult not to crack jokes about snooty waiters and cartoon skunks when you quibble over trifles like the bubbly being served at President Barack Obama's inaugural lunch.
Just to illustrate how the Champagne Bureau spends its time when not sniffing at tourists who mispronounce coq au vin or chasing a female cat that's accidentally had white paint spilled down its back, the industry group scolded the inaugural committee for recklessly throwing around the word "champagne" on its luncheon menu.
The committee decided to celebrate the president's swearing in with a version of Korbel Natural Russian River Valley Champagne, which the Champagne Bureau says is decidedly not champagne.
"We would urge the inaugural committee to follow that law and not state the sparkling wine being served is champagne, as they did in today's release," Sam Heitner, the director of the Champagne Bureau, told The Hill. "Champagne only comes from Champagne, France."
Except when it doesn't. Many countries around the world restrict the use of "champagne" to sparkling wine from the Champagne region, but U.S. law is a bit different. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has spelled out when wineries can use certain designations and just how they can use them. The use of the term "champagne" is protected under the "semi-generic" law 27 CFR 4.24, which dictates that the word can be applied only to sparkling wines produced before 2006, as long as their point of origin is clearly spelled out on the label. This is where the Champagne Bureau and the inaugural committee agree to disagree.
"U.S. law clearly states that the full name of the wine label must include where it comes from," Heitner told The Hill. "Under the law, the label for this wine would state 'California Champagne.'"
Perhaps some portion of the label was lost in translation, as the inaugural committee's press release indicates that the sparkling wine being served with dessert is "Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, California." Though the "California" portion seems to clearly indicate the wine's home state, Heitner insists it's still a violation of U.S. law.
This isn't Brown-Forman (BF.A) subsidiary Korbel's first go-round with the Champagne lobby. Founded in 1882 by two Czechoslovakian brothers, Korbel has used "Champagne" to describe its sparkling wine for more than a century and is often grandfathered into Champagne designation laws by using the "California Champagne" label. It's been served at six inaugurations, including president Obama's last in 2009.
For now, France itself is sitting out this bubbly battle, as it is far too preoccupied with its transition back to a socialist government and the tax-driven departure of actor Gerard Depardieu to notice. People involved with planning the inauguration seem not to care what the Champagne Bureau has to say about their wine selection either.
"The Champagne Lobby should have a glass of their own product and relax," said Matt House, a spokesman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
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Why serve chilled champagne in Washington DC when they could serve chilled water pipes filled with chronic in Washington State. Just saying.
why would I like my tax dollars pay for champagne? Let Obama pay for the beer. It is a lot cheaper.
and it would let tax payers ignorehis spending.
Confess up mr.O you likespending other people's money.
Oh, the Frenc ies' crying , forget about it.
The French are having a tantrum forgetting that certain types of manufacture and naming become cultural norms in the public domain after a FEW HUNDRED FREAKING YEARS! What most Yanks don't know is that France has quietly become one of the most overregulated nations on earth with their version of GOVGOONS sticking their noses into everything.
We applaud the Prez for selecting American bubbly to be served at the inaugural events. Now let's start the "BUY AMERICAN" ethic in earnest and support our own grass roots products!!!! What a concept.
It just had to have the word Russia in it! There are many more important things that many dont like about Obama.
Marxist elitist. Is he really a constitutional scholar? Hard to beleave.
Looks like a little liberal elitist on liberal elitist crime here.
let's see french vines were smuggled out of france to america, then the european vines died out, then the american vines were brought back to france.
So what if "champagne" is only supposed be called by that name if it came from the town in france, the town's vines came from america which came from france which means all the vines are the same!!! go figure
Does anyone really give a hank about what the French have to say? I myself would rather eat dirt from a stable than drink anything that comes from France. I even feel perplexed that I have enough respect for them to capitalize the words French and France. I guess that is a matter of English grammar. OK, my linguistic integrity is intact.
FRANCE........GET A LIFE!!!!!
bowling alley budweiser is what the white house prefers. know what i mean, vern?
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