Text Size:-+

When Place Name Protection Goes Too Far

bigstock-cork-from-champagne-27304523.jpgLet's start off with the fact that I'm a big believer in protecting place names of origin in the world of wine. Brunello should only come from Montalcino. Napa Cabernet should only come from Napa. And yes, Champagne should only come from Champagne.

But the folks in Champagne are frequently far too rabid about the usage of the word Champagne in the world, especially when it comes to usages completely outside the world of wine.

The latest case in point: objections by the Interprofessional Committee for Champagne Wine over the possibility that Apple may name one of the new color options for the iPhone "Champagne."

Doesn't the ICCW have better things to do with their time and money? Have they been going after the international wedding gown industry, too? Last time I checked (this morning) there were approximately 5 Gazillion different wedding dresses manufactured in the world that come in the color "champagne." There are approximately ninety shades of paint from scores of manufacturers named Champagne.

If I was a Champagne producer and my dues were paying the salaries of people who spent time complaining about such things, I'd be pissed. Sure, continue to lobby the U.S. Tobacco and Trade Bureau to kill the grandfather clause that lets Korbel still use the words "California Champagne" on their labels. But this sort of recent outburst is only slightly less ridiculous than calling up news organizations and complaining when they use the phrase "champagne" as an adjective.

Read the full story.

Photo of champagne cork courtesy of Bigstock.

Comments (3)

Sarah wrote:
09.02.13 at 5:16 AM

Better warn Miller High Life! This is quite ridiculous. I completely understand not calling a wine from another region by the name Champagne because it is somewhat misleading, but this? It's funny because I actually just came across a Chianti made in California... try explaining that one to me.

Pamela wrote:
09.02.13 at 6:55 PM

I see their point as one might consider it diluting the accepted vernacular term, but considering a 1955 ISCC-NBS Dictionary of Color Names exists, I don't think they have much of a leg to stand on.

Sean Spratt wrote:
09.08.13 at 10:48 PM

I just had to lookup the current label images for Miller High Life. I would have thought they had to remove 'The Champagne of Beers' from their label since it crossed into the realm of alcohol, but it seems they still have it on their label. Not that I think anyone is confusing High Life with Champagne, but at least that is somewhat in the correct realm. Complaining about Champagne as a color for an iPhone is silly. If they were really smart, they'd be happy about it and work out some sort of collaborative marketing or some way to piggy-back onto the Champagne iPhone. Of course that might require someone to engage their brain....

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Putting a Cork in Your Thanksgiving Wine Anxiety Plumbing the Depths of Portugal: A Tasting Journey Vinography Images: Rain at Last The Mysterious Art of Selling Direct Critical Consolidation in Wine What Has California Got Against Wineries? Dirty Money for a Legendary Brand Vinography Images: Tendrils Highlights from Tasting Champagne with the Masters Off to Portugal for a Drink

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.