Obama Angers France by Planning to Serve Californian Champange at Inauguration

January 14, 2013

President Obama plans to serve American champagne at his upcoming inauguration, and the French are not very happy with his decision. Korbel is creating a special cuvee for the event, calling it Korbel Natural, Special Inauguration Cuvee Champagne, California. 

The Champagne Lobby is upset that Korbel is using the world champagne to describe the celebratory drink. They want Korbel to use the term 'sparking wine' instead, even though they are legally obligated to use the term 'California Champagne' by US law -- Korbel uses neither of these descriptions. 

"Under the law, the label for this wine would state 'California Champagne.' While we do not support this practice, it is US law and we would urge the inaugural committee to follow that law and not state the sparkling wine being served is Champagne," said Sam Heitner, director of the Champagne Bureau, a Washington lobby for the French champagne industry. "Champagne only comes from Champagne, France." 

Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies spokesperson, Matt House, said the label clearly states 'California,' and suggests 'the Champagne Lobby should have a class of their own product and relax." 

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