= Chlopak Leonard Schechter = French Wine Industry is a little outfit being promoted by Washington D.C.-area PR firm Chlopak Leonard Schechter & Associates, which does work for the confusingly-named Office of Champagne, USA. This unholy alliance is once again trying to manipulate Bay Area consumers through online advertising.

They are now pushing the Declaration to Protect Wine Place and Origin, which promotes concepts thoroughly debunked here and here.

But, there’s more trouble: 

Trouble is, the Office of Champagne USA isn’t the federal government, which permits winemakers to use the word “Champagne” on wine labels as sort of a generic term, but only as long as they note where the wine was actually made. Hence “California Champagne,” or almost as famously, “California Chablis” and “California Burgundy.”

Let’s think back to happier times, before the French hired flacks to manipulate us:


You see? French Champagne is made in France and American Champagne is made in America. Some terms have become “semi-generic” in the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Freedom Fries. Should the French wine industry have the only say in how wines made and sold in California should be labelled?

You should certainly be wary of what our European corporate overlords have to say. Don’t listen to the apologists for the troubled French wine industry, which has so much oversupply sometimes they turn wine into industrial alcohol. And does the Champagne region still have a nuclear waste dump? Yes. How’s that for terroir?

So, when the experts tell you to stock up on $100+ bottles of French Champagne, as they did last year, sit back and watch prices fall. And when they tell you to worry:

“People are really worried about the next six months when they should worry about the next 10 to 15 years,” says Charles Curtis, product management development director with Moët Hennessy USA.

You shouldn’t worry.

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