– no added sugar at any stage
Champagne used to be a drink of celebration. Not anymore for me after their relentless pursuit of Jayne Powell (aka Champagne Jayne), which culminated in four days in a melbourne court last week (15th – 18th December). Lawyers for the CIVC (Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne) sought with unrelenting ruthlessness to crush one of Champagne’s most enthusiastic supporters – Champagne Jayne.
Lawyers for the CIVC attempted to demonstrate that Champagne Jayne had profited from Champagne’s reputation, while mentioning non-Champagne sparking wines that was alleged to have tarnished the name of Champagne. As Champagne Jayne only mentions non-Champagne sparkling wines occasionally, CIVC lawyers probably had their work out to prove that Jayne Powell had tarnished Champagne’s reputation.
In July 2012 Jayne managed to trademark ‘Champagne Jayne’ in Australia. In November 2012 the CIVC registered its opposition I can imagine why the CIVC opposed the trademark but why act the bully boy and attempt to crush Champagne Jayne?
Rather than prove that Jayne Powell (Champagne Jayne) has tarnished Champagne’s image, it is the CIVC by its bullying actions that has tarnished Champagne’s reputation as recent comments on Twitter clearly demonstrate. The bullying is not unique to the CIVC, this year Veuve Clicquot parked its legal tanks on a small Italian producer’s lawn opening ‘amicable conversations’ over an allegedly similar label colour. Veuve Clicquot has previous form on this behaviour intimidating a small Tasmanian producer back in 2001 for a similarly alleged transgression.
As the CIVC has at considerable legal expense transformed Champagne into the drink of bullies, I will not be drinking or serving any Champagne over the 12 days of Christmas and for the moment can see little reason why I should extend that ban further into 2015. Some including, my esteemed colleague. Hervé, that such a ban is not fair on small growers who have little or no influence on the CIVC. This may well be true but by remaining silent they become complicit in the bullying actions of the CIVC and large Champagne companies.
This year instead of any Champagne I shall be choosing something more appropriately festive – Loire sparklers are an obvious choice for me but there are plenty of other fine festive sparklers plus other Crémants. I can think of Franciacorta, Trento especially Ferrari, top Cava cuvées, sparkling wines from the UK especially England, Germany not forgetting South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
See also post on Jim’s Loire: ‘Why my Christmas will be Champagne-free.