A friendly reminder: Champagne can only come Champagne, France.
Happy New Year!
Just in time for the big event, the Comite Champagne trade association launched a new round of advertising intended to remind Americans that Champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France.
The text says: “Maine lobster from Kansas? Of course not. Champagne only comes from Champagne, France. Just like Napa Valley wines come from Napa Valley, Maine lobster comes from Maine and Champagne can only come from Champagne, France. Find out more at www.champagne.us.”
I have no beef with this message, even though the folks behind the Champagne region have monkeyed with the borders of the region, calling into question (at least in my mind) what the difference really is between Champagne grapes and those grown a stone’s throw outside the region. But clearly, growers within the region have a right to tell consumers that sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the States can’t be Champagne.
NPR had a longish story yesterday about this issue as well, which highlighted what some might say is a confusing practice — wineries stating “methode champenoise,” or “champagne method” on their labels of non-Champagne wines, ostensibly to indicate the use of a traditional means of winemaking. Champagne wineries, of course, cry foul.
But what I’m wondering is what geographic indication trademarks signal to consumers that a good comes from Seattle? I must admit that none immediately come to mind.