The Champagne Boycott

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.

6 comments

  1. The French have been known to be arrogant, but this is just stupid.

    And as a language obsessed culture, they are turning their backs on content and context. No judge, even a French one can seriously consider this as legitimate.

    1. It’s a risky shortcut to make blanket statements about a whole country based on the actions of a few. It’s short-sighted at best. The number of frivolous law suits in the US is higher than anywhere else, that does not mean we should label the American people as stupid and greedy, does it? This decision was made by an ill-advised trade association; let’s not make the silly assumption that the whole country is backing them.

  2. Absolute down right ridiculous actions ! Champagne is Champagne, Sparkling wine is Sparkling Wine. Assess them on a level playing field and judge your own taste preference without the politics involved.

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