Sonoma “Champagne” Served at Inauguration

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KORBEL CHAMPAGNE CELLARS PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATIONA Sonoma Winery will take center stage when Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term as the 44th President of the United States. On January 21st, immediately following the public Swearing-In Ceremony, Korbel Russian River Valley Natural Champagne – featuring a commemorative neck label including the Inaugural Seal – will be served at the Inaugural Luncheon and raised in toasts to the Obama administration.

2013 marks the eighth Presidential Inauguration in which Korbel Champagne Cellars, has been selected for this prestigious honor.  This Korbel tradition began in 1985 with the inauguration of Ronald Reagan and has continued through the inaugurations of George Bush in 1989, Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1997, George W. Bush in 2001 and 2005, and Barack Obama ‘s first term in 2009.

Established in 1882 in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, Korbel Champagne Cellars produces the United States’ most popular methode champenoise champagne style wines.

 

 

 

Gary Heck, President and Owner of Korbel Champagne Cellars.

“Such a historic celebration deserves to be toasted with American champagne with roots in our country’s most memorable occasions. We are honored that Korbel – celebrating its 130th anniversary – will once again be on hand for this prestigious tradition.”

While naturally Korbel is thrilled to have their sparkling served at such a historic event, the French wine lobby isn’t exactly pleased with the presidential choice in “Champagne.” Korbel’s special cuvée is labeled “Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, California,” Per U.S. law, the label is supposed to read “California Champagne,” and the French would actually prefer it say “sparkling wine” and take out the word Champagne all together.

Sam Heitner, the director of the Champagne Bureau, a Washington lobby

“U.S. law clearly states that the full name of the wine label must include where it comes from. Under the law, the label for this wine would state ‘California Champagne.’ While we do not support this practice, it is U.S. law and we would urge the inaugural committee to follow that law and not state the sparkling wine being served is Champagne, as they did in today’s release. Champagne only comes from Champagne, France.”

Matt House, spokesman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies

The Champagne Lobby should have a glass of their own product and relax. We are proud to be serving American Champagne at the Inauguration, and its location of origin will be appropriately displayed on the label and the menu in accordance with the law, and international treaties.”

Perhaps a Presidential Pardon is in order.  They do it for the turkey right? :)

To read more on this issue visit www.thehill.com

Monique Soltani

Monique is the Founder and Host of Wine Oh TV and has a certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Monique is an experienced broadcast journalist and has worked at various television stations across the country and most recently at KPIX-TV/CBS 5 and KSEE-TV/NBC 24

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1 Comment

  1. Rich Reader

    The legality of the argument is one matter, while the good judgment that we should use is another. It would have been better in certain ways to have specified a higher quality of domestic sparkling wine as well as chosen a brand that does not refer to cultures of other countries, for which there are many choices available.

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