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Champagne or No?

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 [1] 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!


Cover of Card


Back Cover of Card


Inside of Card


Airline Wine & Beverage Card