Thursday, June 2, 2011

CHAMPAGNE IN THE NEWS

For those of you who haven't heard it yet, a few months ago I became a Wine Location Specialist. What does it exactly mean? 
Well, it means that I have a mission: To educate people about the importance of location when it comes to wine (particularly those from Champagne in France and Porto in Portugal.)

"While excellent wine is produced around the world, it is important to know where your wine comes from. If you are unsure, we encourage you to ask and demand that a wine’s true origin be clearly identified on its label. Truth-in-labeling is important so you can make informed decisions when buying and enjoying wines." 
Do you want to become a Wine Location Specialist?
Check this out: www.wineorigins.com 

A few key articles I would like to share on Champagne:




Summer’s the time for bubbly, <http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/19/2222713/summers-the-time-for-bubbly.html> The Miami Herald

When’s the right time to drink bubbly? Right now. No big celebration. No holiday. Just another workaday evening. That’s the point. Without giddy distractions, you get bubbly’s maximum happy effect.We need bubbly less at New Year’s Eve, which is already festive, than around Memorial Day, when the long, hot summer stretches before us.


Off The Vine: Sparkling wine vs. Champagne <http://www.sunherald.com/2011/05/17/3120149/sparkling-wine-vs-champagne.html> , The Sun Herald

It can be quite difficult to find affordable, tasty Champagne to serve a large group of people. The term Champagne only refers to a wine produced in the Champagne region of France. Wine of that style produced in the United States is designated as “sparkling wine” and elsewhere in the world there are a large number of names for sparkling wines such names as prosecco, cava, and spumante, just to name a few.


Wine: For spring, think rosé, sparkling, white and even red wines <http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/04/13/1603371/for-spring-think-rose-sparkling.html> , Idaho Statesman

It may sound nitpicky to harp on the point that wine from California can’t be Champagne, but think of it this way: Champagne is the name of a place. Making a wine in California and calling it Champagne makes about as much sense as making a wine in France and putting Napa Valley on the label. Recent international legal agreements prevent anybody who isn’t in Champagne from using the name, but there still are a few wineries that are grandfathered in and are allowed to print “California Champagne” on their labels.


Rant: Barefoot Cellars, Avoiding My Champagne Questions, <http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2011/05/rant-barefoot-cellars-avoiding-my.html> The Passionate Foodie

It is poor customer relations for a major winery to ignore three emails, even if the questions contained within those emails make them uncomfortable. E.&J. Gallo Winery recently made such an error in regards to my own inquiries.  And it all centered on Barefoot Cellars and their use of the term "Champagne." Back on March 14, I penned a rant, Protecting Champagne From The U.S., in which I decried the fact that over 50% of the sparkling wine in the U.S. is labeled as Champagne. True Champagne only comes from a specific region of France. Though the U.S.-European Union Wine Accords permits some U.S. wineries to continue to legally use the term "Champagne" on their labels, I questioned the reasons why a U.S. winery would want to use the term. Just because you "can" do something does not mean you "should" do it.


Drinking Diaries: Pop some bubbly, <http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/apr/07/drinking-diaries-pop-some-bubbly/> Naples News

Wine afficionados have their favorite regions. Burgundy, Bordeaux, Napa wine lovers cherish their favorites and debate their merits. But when it comes to sparkling wine, despite legions of challengers — prosecco, cava, spumante, to name a few — Champagne’s spot as No. 1 remains unimpeachable. That quintessential and beloved pop of the cork often signifies a celebration. Whether it’s a wedding, a raise or even the renewal of spring, people choose Champagne to celebrate.


CHAMPAGNE KEEPS GETTING GREENER, <http://www.blogwinecellar.com/2011/04/champagne-keeps-getting-greener.html> the Blog Wine Cellar

As Earth Day approaches, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC)is furthering the Champagne region's leadership in environmental preservation with new initiatives to reuse woody biomass and wastewater from wine production.  The region has launched an appellation-wide program to transform the 150,000 metric tons of wood waste generated from vineyard pruning into energy, reducing pollution and helping replace fossil fuels used in wine production with a renewable source of energy.


Champagne, wine with meals option for Mother’s Day gift, <http://www.kstatecollegian.com/edge/champagne-wine-with-meals-option-for-mother-s-day-gift-1.2556186> Kansas State Collegian

Deciding how to honor a mother on Mother's Day is daunting. It's hard to pay back 364 days of service with one day of appreciation, and college students often tend to be stuck between a budget and box of crayons. Not knowing what else to do for a mother can leave students in a tizzy. For a mother with a taste palette for wine, consider adding a bottle to your Mother's Day celebration.


Bubbles alone do not a Champagne make <http://www.suburbanwino.com/2011/05/bubbles-alone-do-not-champagne-make.html> , Suburban Wino

Looking at the title of this post, my grammar has devolved to Yoda-esque sentence structure. Perhaps I'm quickly becoming a shriveled wine curmudgeon, relegated to cryptic tidbits on the fermented grape, designed to put frustrated winos on the path to righteousness. Or, maybe there's wisdom in the header; a critical piece of knowledge that fledgling wine-Jedis must heed in order to restore balance to the vinous Force. Probably the former, but bear with me here, because what I'm about to say is very important: NOT ALL SPARKLING WINE IS CHAMPAGNE. Please, repeat this statement again, as I didn't hear you the first time with this ridiculous Yoda hat covering my ears.

Wine Word of the Week: Champagne, <http://winepeeps.com/2011/05/03/wine-word-of-the-week-champagne/> Wine Peeps
This week’s Wine Word of the Week is Champagne. Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine: Champagne is a name derived from the Latin term Campania, originally used to describe the rolling open countryside just north of Rome. In the early Middle Ages, it became applied to a province in north east France. It is now divided into the so-called ‘Champagne pouilleuse,’ the once-barren but now cereal-growing chalky plains east of Rheims, and the ‘Champagne viticole’ (capital letters indicate the geographical region while lower case is used for the wine).

Spanish Cava or Champagne: Both Bubbly, but Distinctly Different <http://www.theramblingepicure.com/archives/7727> , The Rambling Epicure

I risk sounding like a schoolteacher (or a wine snob), but I shall continue. My hair stands on end when I hear people confuse Champagne and Spanish cava, or bubbly (I hide my annoyance, of course). I can no longer maintain my silence, so I will hastily scribble out a few lines to remove all doubts about the difference between cava and Champagne, and you can face up to the test. You only have to worry about perhaps finding yourself at a blind tasting with people who always know how distinguish one from the other, who never get it wrong. Otherwise, you’re set to roll.




I'll be posting Champagne news in a regular basis. Stay tuned.

Cheers,
LA



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