Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fox's Shep Smith Goes on Epic Rant About How Champagne Only Comes from France

Champagne is one of the world's greatest wines because it comes from one of the world's greatest wine regions, Champagne. In France. 

Sparkling wine made via the Champagne method is just that, sparkling wine. Some producers from California, most notably the massive Korbel brand, insist on putting the word Champagne on their labels. This causes some French to get justifiably defensive. They want to protect their reputation and name. Putting Champagne on a label of a wine not from Champagne is illegal in France and most other countries, the same way you can't put Napa Valley on a wine that isn't from Napa Valley. 

Korbel has been selling "California Champagne" since the late 1800s, and they don't give a damn. During the President's recent Inaugural Lunch, the Members of Congress, the President, and other distinguished guests gathered for lunch in between the Inaugural Address and the Inaugural Parade. Most newscasters, stuck in a boring period of their full-day coverage, were left to pass time by chatting with talking heads and rambling.

Fox's Shepard Smith, however, took this time to analyze the lunch menu, including the wine selection: Korbel Natural Special Inaugural Cuvee California Champange. With no time constraints, Shep riffs and drops some truth on this "California Champagne" thing, which, he correctly points out, "doesn't exist." I watched this bit twice and knew I had to record it and share. It's that awesome

Many casual wine-drinkers are aware of this distinction between Champagne and sparkling wine, even if Champagne continues to be used in normal conversation as an interchangeable term for sparkling wine from anywhere. Incredible sparkling wines come from California; they're just not Champagne. 

But Korbel, in releasing a special cuvee for the Inauguration, and labeling it California Champagne, is proving how little they care about this distinction. After all, their brand is sustained by hawking mediocre bubbles and milking Champagne's reputation. 

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