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champagneI won’t be drinking Champagne this New Year’s Eve. If the Champagne trade association wants to act like thugs they can do it without my money.

CIVC, The trade association for Champagne, the region in France that produces sparkling wine, has long been engaged in a fight to prevent other sparkling wine producers from calling their product Champagne. This is entirely reasonable. If your grapes are not grown in Champagne then you don’t make Champagne—you make sparkling wine. Why should Champagne allow competitors to capitalize on their reputation?

But the CIVC is now suing an Australian blogger who calls herself “Champagne Jayne” because, while promoting Champagne to her readers, she sometimes praises other sparkling wines. She is accused of misleading her readers by using the name “Champagne Jayne” while promoting other sparkling wines, thus tarnishing the reputation of Champagne. This, despite the fact that she has won many wine educator awards in France because of her efforts on behalf of Champagne.

I fail to see the logic. Are her readers confusing Jayne with a bottle of Champagne? If she clearly distinguishes Champagne from sparkling wine where is the confusion? Apparently if you enjoy Champagne you are logically required to spit out the stuff from Napa or the Loire Valley.

This is just juvenile and makes you wonder what happened to the marketing genius that made Champagne one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Their thuggish tactics will tarnish their reputation more than anything Champagne Jane does.

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