Thursday, September 2, 2010

News I Find Interesting

by Rob Bralow, Wine Post Editor

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from the US Champagne Bureau, which represents the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) saying that the Australian Government had come to an agreement with the EU regarding the labeling of "Champagne, Port, and Sherry" on Australian wines. CIVC is the governing body in France of the region of Champagne. They have been on a crusade for at least the last decade to eradicate the use of the word "Champagne" on any sparkling wine not from their soil.

I expect an e-mail from the Secret Sherry Society (not so secret) any moment now.

In return, the EU will recognize nearly 100 Geographic Indications (the Australian version of Quality Wines Produced in Specific Regions). I seriously doubt that up until this point the major regions were not recognized, but now it is official, and the CIVC gets to crow about it a little.

The main argument that the CIVC makes is that it protects to consumer. When someone sees "Champagne" on a label, you want it to be REAL Champagne instead of some imitation from California, Australia, or elsewhere. I agree up to a point, since Champagne is now used by consumers to indicate all sparkling wine. But I think such usage makes Champagne even more elite. When you think quality bubbly, you think Champagne and visa versa.

The main issue is the price of Champagne. Consumers want Champagne, but they also want it to cost $20 or less or at least this is my experience as a wine buyer for a retail store. So when they walk into a store looking for $19.99 bubbly, they pick Cava or Prosecco or sparkling wine from California. I think if I can find a bubbly from Champagne that is in that price range that tastes even halfway decent, people would buy it by the truck load.

I will see more when the holidays come around. Maybe the Champagne market has thawed out and more $40 bubbly will walk out the door.

Copyright 2009 Wine Post: Wine & Spirits Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan