Happy New Year! As we say so long to 2015 and hello to 2016, many will be toasting with champagne. To celebrate the festivities, we have some wine trivia for your New Year’s Eve party. Champagne has a rich history that’s bubbled up in intellectual property law, and been decanted into a trademark. Champagne is a geographical trademark of the Champagne region of France, so for a wine to be a “champagne,” its grapes must be grown in the Champagne area of France. Trademarks guarantee consumers they are getting a genuine product or service – your favorite brands are likely trademarked. The French call sparkling wines from other regions of France Mousseux or Crémant. Among many other virtues, the French have long been excellent vintners. Many New Year’s Eve revelers enjoy sparkling wines from other countries or from America (especially California). Many sparkling wines are labeled Méthode Champenoise, French for champagne method. Hearkening back to geometry class, just as every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square, so every bottle of champagne is made in the Method Champenoise, but only bottles from Champagne, France are truly champagne. (Think of Kansas City BBQ vis-a-vis BBQ in the Kansas City style.) What’s your favorite champagne or sparkling wine to celebrate with? Cheers to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016! Salut, mon amis!
(c) 2015, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.
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