getting past generic “champagne”


Kleenex, Xerox, Jello…these have evolved to refer to a generic class of things (tissue, copies and copiers, fruit gelatin) rather than the specific brands for tissues, copies and copiers, and fruit “flavored” gelatin. Very early in my working at Moore Brothers, I came to realize Champagne was also a victim of this kind of “genericide.” (OK, that’s loosely using the term genericide; Champagne isn’t a brand, it’s a geographical indication). I was one of the major violaters in thinking Champagne was synonymous with sparkling wine. Now that I know how special true Champagne is I fight for its name to […]

on champagne…the “real” stuff

Bad news. Despite the fact that the governing board of the Union des Maisons de Champagne (UMC) voted unanimously in 2003 to end the practice of sur latte transactions beginning on January 1, 2004, the practice continues unabated.

Sur latte transactions are wholesale purchases of Champagne that is already bottled, ready to disgorge and label. In plain English, it means that members of the UMC, which includes G. H. Mumm, Mo√ęt et Chandon, and Veuve Clicquot, continue to sell Champagne under their own famous labels, that was made and bottled in other wineries. Many, both inside and outside of the Champagne […]