Are you Happy to be Called Champagne?
20th August 2016
I know that many, especially within the wine industry itself, will know very well that not all sparkling wines are Champagne. The Champagne Bureau themselves see it as a large part of their duty to continue educating the world on how the word Champagne can and should be used and this is not confined to its usage just in the wine industry.
I think it acceptable that many consumers will still mix up the likes of a Prosecco or Cava for a Champagne as the word Champagne itself is for many a part of our house hold vocabulary, a descriptive term for any wine in their glass that is bubbly. Rather like us saying I will give the house a hoover today instead of what we should be saying, a vacuum, as indeed Hoover themselves, though very happy that their name is used in such a wide context, will enlighten you to the fact that they are a manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and not a verb for a household chore.
Why do I bring this up, a topic that is very much covered on our own website let alone the whole internet itself? I think that confusion is sometimes thrown out by large media distributing channels themselves who, though should be knowing better, will still make the basic errors between Champagne and sparkling wine thus reinforcing the common mistake on what exactly are the bubbles we are drinking.
As I sat relaxing and reading The Daily Telegraph newspaper and shifting through the sport section to relive the weekends sporting action, I will still read up on how a sparkling wine is wrongly described as a Champagne. As an example, within Formula One, a sport that for many years has been associated with Champagne and those over sized bottle spraying drivers, not only did the commentators including David Coulthard refer to Chandon sparkling wine as Champagne, the double page spread written by Daniel Johnson (The Telegraph’s Formula One Correspondent) refers to what had been sprayed as being Champagne. My point on this is that if from the outlets that millions of people refer to daily also lack in their basic wine knowledge then how are everyday consumers going to learn? Without question, it’s a simply mistake for anyone to make and I would say it is neither their responsibility or concern to know the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine, but this should attract interest and research from those whose role it is to educate everyone on what is Champagne and what isn’t – A study and educational role out to big media outlets… Just a thought…
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.