Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vote for the face of Champagne!

Candidate # 1: Biff Tannen, a great wine name from Back to the Future
The Champagne Bureau is trying to sue an Australian wine educator into bankruptcy.

I was thinking about trying to organize a Champagne boycott this New Year's Eve, but that's no fun to talk about two days before Christmas. So let's have a little fun. There's a poll at the bottom; you can vote for the right face for Champagne!*
Candidate # 2, from Randall Grahm: Brut-o

Why? The Champagne Bureau (CIVC) is suing Jayne Powell, who calls herself "Champagne Jayne," because among her enthusiastic classes and tweets promoting Champagne, she also sometimes mentions other sparkling wines. Really. That's the CIVC's whole case. I thought Champagne producers were classy, but they're like abusive townie boyfriends who don't want her to even look at another wine. Jim Budd has done the best job covering the trial and here's his most recent post on it.

I am a longtime supporter of the Champagne Bureau's fight to keep other sparkling wines from calling themselves "Champagne." That's reasonable, and it's terrible that the U.S. government keeps letting Korbel and Gallo confuse consumers about what Champagne is.

However, there is no way somebody would look at an Australian woman and say, "Wow, so THAT's what Champagne is."

The CIVC's position is ridiculous. And mean. Champagne has become a bully.

Candidate # 3, courtesy Darrin Klimek/Getty Images
When dinosaurs walked the earth, back in the 20th century, people were afraid to sue newspapers because a suit against one was an affront to all. Nobody wanted to get every journalist on their bad side. But in today's fractured environment, you might think, if the Champagne Bureau bankrupts Jayne Powell, that doesn't affect me. Well, maybe. You might think, "The Champagne producers like me." You haven't done as much to promote Champagne as Jayne, and look what happened to her. We stand together or we tweet in fear.

Just to be clear, because I don't want to be sued, I am not saying that any of these images are appropriate for any of the fine sparkling wines that are not Champagne and would be more delicious, possibly, and certainly more  morally satisfying on New Year's Eve.

Candidate #4: Johnny Lawrence from The Karate Kid

These images do not apply to Franciacorta, Cremant de Bourgogne, California sparkling wine, Cava, Prosecco, Cremant de Loire, Nyetimber, or any other delicious sparkling wines that are not Champagne.

What the heck, it's Christmas. Candidate #5, Scut Farkus (right), A Christmas Story

These images are appropriate only for the unique product of its terroir, named after its region, that we know as Champagne. Only Champagne (TM). Vote for the winner below, and keep them in mind when you're thinking about what to drink next week!

* (This contest is NOT sponsored by the CIVC and the results will NOT be official. Oh dear. Does anybody know a good First Amendment lawyer? Please don't hurt me, Champagne.)

Follow me on Twitter: @wblakegray and like The Gray Report on Facebook.
This blog post was written while under the influence of J "Cuvée 20" sparkling wine from Sonoma County. Delicious! And NOT Champagne.


Bob Henry (Los Angeles wine industry professional) said...

Does the Champagne Bureau (CIVC) intend to sue automotive makers who call their paint jobs "champagne"?


Bob Henry (Los Angeles wine industry professional) said...

They can target their lawsuit against Lexus/Toyota:


Bob Henry (Los Angeles wine industry professional) said...

What's next: sound alike/spelled almost alike names?

Watch out, Illinois!