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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They should be serving Boones Farm for this joke of a celebration. Wait... why insult Boones Farm? Sorry BF. I could pee in a boot and they could put that on ice.
The government of France has more important french to fry! Buy, serve and drink American, that's my motto! Viva La Liberty (or something like that)!!!!
After teaching several intellectual property classes, this one always gets my students. Technically, the "committee" has to say something negative about the usage and urge correct usage to promote the argument.
Although I'm Republican, thumbs up for buying American. Californian Champagne (ah-hem, "Sparking Wine") is pretty darned good and I've had alot of the French stuff.
That's rich - democ-rats follow the law? Too much.
"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,"
HA, HA, HA, HAAAAAA! "Follow the LAW"?????? This is Obama! He doesn't have to "follow the law"! He IS the law!
If he doesn't "follow the law" and pass a budget,.....what makes these crazy frenchies think he's going to "follow the law" on the issue of "Champaign"?
If he doesn't follow the law and restrict guns being sold to Mexican drug gangs, what makes them think Obama gives a crap about champaign law?
If he makes "recess appointments" when the senate is not in recess,....what makes them think Obama will bow to "champaign law"?
If Obama is willing to file a frivilous lawsuits to stop (Boeing) union jobs from leaving a blue state and moving to a red state and to keep states from helping to enforce federal immigration laws,.....what makes the French think he give a hoot about where his champaign comes from?
So let me get this straight. Millions of Americans, most of which make less than $50,000 a year, just had tax increases and this is the top Money headline?
I know the payroll tax just went back to what it used to be, but it is still a tax hike. The middle and lower classes are feeling the brunt of this fiscal deal. People like my family working hard to get by took a big hit today and last Friday when we saw our first check.
Yet MSN headlines are dominated with gun control talk, some Republican moron saying something about the rape shutdown issue, and what Obama will be drinking on our dime.
The liberal left never ceases to amaze me with their complete lack of intelligence. Today is another new low.
I'd like to say this is the worst Presidential administration and Congress in history, but that's not really true. They are accomplishing all the irresponsible, idiotic, country-destroying nonsense they've set out to accomplish. And the liberal left followers are too shallow eating up the gun control type issues to notice. Each of you needs to slap yourself in the face and wake up.
It's probably not very good champagne, so what's the problem? French champagne is leagues beyond the American version. Don't get me wrong, I'm a loyal, tax-paying American. And I applaud the Inaugural Committee for keeping it local. But there is no comparison. Just sayin'
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