January 10, 2005

The White House Should Have Looked To France

If you think that seeing this headline at the Llamas is a sure sign of the Apocalypse, just hear me out. Apparently for the sixth time running, Korbel is to be the official champagne of the Inauguration.

I know I sound like Rob Lowe in Wayne's World, but there is no such thing as California champagne. Oh sure, Korbel makes a sparkling wine using the methode Champenoise, but real Champagne comes only from that region of France where this wine was first developed. Everything else is a mere imitation.

If you're going to pull out all the stops for something as important as a Presidential Inauguration, why not do the drinks right?

I enjoy Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey-bashing as much as the next Llama, but not so much that I'm willing to cut off my own nose in terms of one of the very few things the French do right. If I were running the Inaugural planning, I'd order real Champagne. I'd also instruct anyone who was feeling uncomfortable or angry about this choice to wait until after the toast and then toddle round and take a leak on the French Embassy.

See how easy that is?

UPDATE: Lots of claims in the comments about how [insert your region here] produces wonderful Champagne. All I've got to say (in my best Jiminy Glick voice) is:


Bah! Philistines!!

Posted by Robert at January 10, 2005 05:31 PM

Those of us who live in Korbel Country also think you should just shush.
Sonoma County

Posted by: JulieB at January 10, 2005 07:22 PM

If you've got problems with Korbel, say so. It's shitty sparkling wine, so I technically agree with you, but your argument is faulty. France isn't the only place that can produce decent sparkling wine. It just hasn't happened yet. Technically speaking, other than coming up with it in the first place, the only thing the French have done right with Champagne is to bully every one else into using the phrase "sparkling wine."

Personally, I prefer a nice split of POP! Extra Dry, myself. Or, if I'm feeling extravagant, a whole bottle of the Pieper-Heisdick, again with the Extra Dry.

Posted by: Kathy at January 10, 2005 11:11 PM

Eh. Korbel is pretty mediocre, but I'll put a nice Piper Sonoma, J, or Iron Horse "methode champenoise" -- oh, hell, Champagne, dammit, even with a capital C -- up against the Fraunch stuff any day.

Posted by: Alex at January 11, 2005 12:31 AM

Yeah Korbel sux.

So how bout rewarding one of our steadfast allies, Italia, and ordering up several hundred cases of Prosecco. which not only tastes great but costs about 1/2 to 1/4 what one would pay for the Frenchified stuff.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 11, 2005 01:31 AM

Upstate New York makes some pretty good sparkling wine these days, also.

We can live without France.

Posted by: The Colossus at January 11, 2005 08:44 AM

My wife and I are red wine drinkers, so we're not very educated on white or sparkling wines. I do have to say that we really enjoyed the bottle of Korbel Extra Dry Champagne (f#$! the French) that we got for New Year's Eve. I am still boycotting French wines out of principle.

Posted by: JohnL at January 11, 2005 10:17 AM

I have to agree with everyone here so far in that it's pretty damned unfair to say that just because Korbel sucks, French Champagne must therefore be better than ANY American Methode Champenois. In addition to the states already mentioned, Oregon and Washington also produce some very good stuff. And you'll be pleased, o snooty friend, to know that by law, Oregon wineries cannot use ANY foreign place name in their wine names. No Oregon Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, or even Pinot Grigio (they must call it by the varietal name, Pinot Gris).

Posted by: Brian B at January 11, 2005 01:39 PM

I will agree that other areas make good sparkling wines. Prosecco from Italy is an inexpensive favorite of mine.

But if I want the real deal, I'll go with "real" champagne from France every time. Still find a lot of it available here in California wine country.

To each his own, and enjoy!

Posted by: Chrees at January 11, 2005 03:39 PM
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