A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life
To subscribe and be notified anytime we post a new article, enter your email address in the box below, then click on Subscribe Now.

Featured Wine Commentary

Similar Articles:

  1. GAMBAL-WORK WINERY
  2. 2018 HILLSIDE HOUSE SUNSET SOIRÉE WITH JIM CLENDENEN OF AU BON CLIMAT
  3. IS IT ROSÉ TIME?
  4. DOMAINE BALLOT-MILLOT – HISTORY, OLDER WINES & THE 2015 VINTAGE, AND TASTING NOTES ON THE 2015S
  5. BIEN NACIDO ESTATE AND SOLOMON HILLS ESTATE
  6. A VISIT TO TYLER WINERY
  7. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2014
  8. SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD AND QUINTA CRUZ
  9. RIDGE VINEYARDS & THE DROUGHT YEARS 2012-2015
  10. BONNY DOON VINEYARD: A PIONEER PRODUCER WHERE OLD IS NEW
  11. VISIT TO CALERA & NEW AND OLD WINES
  12. DIAMOND CREEK VINEYARDS
  13. TYLER WINERY
  14. MARIETTA CELLARS
  15. CHANIN WINE COMPANY & LUTUM WINES
  16. MASSICAN WINERY
  17. DOMAINE BALLOT MILLOT
  18. DOMAINE SAUMAIZE-MICHELIN
  19. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2013
  20. CALERA WINE COMPANY
  21. RIDGE VINEYARDS
  22. BIEN NACIDO ESTATE AND SOLOMON HILLS ESTATE
  23. RIDGE VINEYARDS AND TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
  24. TYLER WINERY AND CHANIN WINE COMPANY
  25. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2012
  26. WORLD CLASS CENTRAL COAST WINERIES: New Releases From Calera, Domaine Eden, Mount Eden Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, and Tablas Creek Vineyard
  27. BERNARD PORTET’S NEW WINEMAKING PROJECT, HERITANCE
  28. CALERA WINE COMPANY
  29. THE OJAI VINEYARD
  30. TYLER WINERY
  31. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2011
  32. DOMAINE DONATSCH
  33. THE COMPLETE(R) STORY
  34. SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD & QUINTA CRUZ: TWO IN ONE
  35. THE BIG KAHUNA LINE UP
  36. RIDGE VINEYARDS
  37. AU BON CLIMAT & QUPÉ
  38. MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS AND DOMAINE EDEN
  39. MOSEL VERSUS MONTRACHET
  40. JOSEPH SWAN: A CALIFORNIA WINE LEGEND
  41. SUMMERTIME IS ROSÉ TIME!
  42. IN PURSUIT OF BALANCE: A TRADE TASTING AND MORE
  43. SPRING HAS SPRUNG
  44. THE MAYACAMAS MOUNTAINS OF NAPA VALLEY & THREE PIONEER PRODUCERS
  45. STILL DON'T KNOW JURA? YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING!
  46. THREE CRU CLASSÉ LADIES OF THE COTES DE PROVENCE
  47. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2010
  48. THE OJAI VINEYARD
  49. KUDOS FOR CALERA
  50. THE HOLY TRINITY OF WINERIES
  51. MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS AND DOMAINE EDEN -- SOMETHING OLD AND SOMETHING NEW
  52. RIDGE VINEYARDS - UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY
  53. The Dueling Inexpensive Red Wine Line-Ups -- Which Ones Went To The Drinking Round And Which Ones Went Down The Drain?
  54. A Pair To Draw From – Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and Quinta Cruz
  55. T FOR TWO – TABLAS CREEK AND TYLER TOO!
  56. Que Syrah, Syrah…Wherefore Art Thou?
  57. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2009
  58. Is “Sanity” Returning To The Market?
  59. Under The Radar California Wines
  60. More 2009 Wines
  61. A Tale of Two California Wineries – One New, One Old
  62. There Was A Legacy
  63. Surprising New Wines from Old-World Spain
  64. 2009 Beaujolais
  65. Lemmings to the Sea?
  66. 2009 Rosé
  67. Dom Pérignon in the Napa Valley
  68. A Burgundy Story
  69. A Vineyard 29 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Retrospective Tasting
  70. Champagne or No?
  71. A Visit With Robert Lawrence Balzer -- Grand Ambassador of American Wine Culture
  72. Champagne -- The Wine of Kings

Champagne or No?

John Tilson • 3/18/10        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

On a recent coast to coast airline flight, my food service tray was accompanied by a folded card that said on the front of it “Unmask the truth…” overlaying a bottle labeled “American Champagne.”  When I opened the folded card, the message inside read “No more cover-ups” and spoke to the fact that Champagne is only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France and sparkling wine from other places is not Champagne.  The comments went on to insert a political message to tell Congress to protect consumers and stop deceptive wine labeling and to ask people to sign the petition at www.champagne.us to not allow sparkling wine to be called Champagne.  (See the illustrations at the end of the article for complete details.)

After I read this, I mentioned to my wife to look at the card, which I thought was pretty amusing.  How many times have we been offered “Champagne” on an airline flight?  I have traveled extensively and in 40+ years of airline travel have covered millions of miles and on most flights I have been offered “Champagne,” but rarely has it been Champagne.  The server tells you it is “Champagne” and even brings the bottle to show you if you ask, but it is nearly always sparkling wine, not Champagne.  Mostly on international flights, you are likely to get Champagne but then only when the plane is in the air. The “Champagne” offered before take-off is generally a sparkling wine, not Champagne.  It is ironic that the airline industry is one of the biggest abusers,  of representing sparkling wine as Champagne. But, they are the ones distributing the cards to educate the rest of us! Maybe they should distribute them to their employees who are serving us?  So, even on this flight, we were offered “Champagne” but, the Wine and Beverages card showed Prosecco being offered, listed as a sparkling wine and no Champagne was listed.  Yet, the servers continued to offer us “Champagne” even when we told them that the Prosecco sparkling wine was not Champagne.  Apparently, old habits are hard to break!

FRONT COVER OF CARD

Cover of Card

BACK COVER OF CARD

Back Cover of Card

INSIDE OF CARD

Inside of Card

AIRLINE WINE & BEVERAGE CARD

Airline Wine & Beverage Card

Post a Comment

2 comments for “Champagne or No?”

  1. Though this article is now two years old this is the first time I have seen it. Actually I do not agree with John on the times airlines offer “Champagne”. However I am sure he is correct that American airlines call the offered sparkling wine Champagne when it is not. And therefore the card offered him is an enigma. Or an oximoron. I have never been served a “sparkling” wine on Air france or on Air Thati Nui. Travel on those, John.

    Posted by madeleine de Jean | June 3, 2012, 1:18 pm
  2. Thanks Madeleine,
    It is nice to hear from you even after two years. But, in the case of this article it is as true today as it was then. In the U.S. the the word “Champagne” is often used interchangeably (and wrongly) in restaurants, stores, airlines and amongst the general public. The reason why “sparkling wine” is not served on the airlines you mention is that they are affiliated with France which is, of course, where Champagne is produced. I have never had “sparking wine” served as “Champagne” on those airlines. And, that is unlikely to ever happen unless that start serving sparkling wine from Burgundy or the Loire Valley. And, if that should ever happen, I can assure you that they will not serve those wines and call them “Champagne”. Fortunately, I have other reasons for flying an airline that are more important than whether or not I am served “Champagne” or “sparkling wine”. The main one is “does the airline fly to where I want to go at the time I want to go?” The second is “what is the price”. I don’t even think much about food and wine on airlines any more because on my flights in the U.S. and Europe (which are the areas I fly the most) the food and wine has sunk to the point where most of it is not worth eating. That’s sad for those of us who remember that “first class” service used to include “first class” food and wine. Not so anymore unless you are flying to the Orient or the Mid East on one of the carriers based there.

    In Vino Veritas,

    John

    Posted by John Tilson | June 3, 2012, 1:40 pm

Post a Comment